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New Orleans now has the second largest bio diesel facility in the US

With gas prices so high, you might be wondering if there are other fuel alternatives. Fortunately, there are. Among them is biodiesel.

Dragos restaurant uses gallons of cooking oil each day, and once it's reached the end of its life, it needs to get discarded somewhere.

"So we have a catch basin where we actually dump the used oil into the catch basin. And we have a company that comes out, darling industries, and they come out, they pick it up," Tommy Cvitanovich, owner of Dragos, said.

Eventually, all that used oil will reach the diamond green diesel facility in Norco, the second-largest biodiesel facility in the world and largest in the U.S.

So how does it get made into fuel?

"We take that used cooking oil, and we first process that at our facility under high pressure to change that chemical compound and remove impurities. We take that and move it to the refinery in a three-step process," Susan Guthrie, with Darling Ingredients said.

Step one, they remove the oxygen. In the second step, they use another treatment to change the molecular structure of the oil.

"And then finally there's a fractionation process, which is a chemical process that is used to separate liquid into the finished products you see today such as diesel in our vehicles," Guthrie said.

Then it gets shipped to gas stations where anyone that has a diesel engine can use it without any modification at all. And here in Louisiana, we use over 42 million gallons of biodiesel each year.

It's estimated that at the end of this year, over 750 million gallons of biodiesel will be produced. And with upgrades, it will be over 1 billion gallons in 2023.

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