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December 03, 2020   |  


Oil Refineries See Profit in Turning Kitchen Grease Into Diesel

Many businesses are betting that electric and hydrogen-powered cars and trucks will play a critical role in the fight against climate change. But some oil companies are hoping that so will smelly restaurant grease and slaughterhouse waste.

Companies that refine crude oil into fuel are increasingly using such putrid scraps to make a renewable version of diesel that can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from trucks, buses and industrial equipment without requiring families and businesses to invest in expensive new vehicles and factory gear. Phillips 66, Marathon, HollyFrontier and several other refiners are spending roughly $2 billion to retool refineries to produce the fuel over the next four years.

Renewable diesel has been around for years, and its production, while tiny compared with its fossil fuel counterpart, has grown steadily because the federal government and California offer incentives for companies to make and sell it. That support has made the fuel even more attractive to oil refiners during the pandemic because demand for regular diesel, gasoline and jet fuel has plunged as people drive and travel less.

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