Omega Protein has reduced sulfur emissions by 80 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent at its Virginia facility since transitioning from petroleum oil to RDX Technologies’ lower-cost renewable fuel derived from everyday food and oils found in wastewater.
RDX Technologies’ new fuel source is an EPA-approved, carbon-neutral Renewable Diesel Oil (RDO). Since 2012, Omega Protein has replaced more than 3 million gallons of residual oil with RDO fuel, reducing energy costs and decreasing fossil fuel consumption by up to 80 percent.
Going forward, the two companies are working to further streamline the program by developing a growing infrastructure to supply the renewable fuel from local, in-state waste sources. Waste oils for RDO primarily consist of soy, canola and similar vegetable oils, but can include additional sources such as animal fats and alcohols. These oils are currently collected from wastewater discards all around the country, but RDX Technologies is constructing a handful of new fuel plants in Virginia to eventually source and ship Omega Protein’s renewable oil entirely in-state. This will bring new jobs to Virginia, decrease area landfill, and curtail transportation costs and pollution, according to RDX Technologies.
The growing partnership also means more savings. Each year in the US, around 6 billion gallons of these recyclable oils are dumped into sewage systems and end up solidified in landfills, according to RDX Technologies. Besides being wasteful, this is an expensive process for many businesses, which have to pay disposal fees, and for local municipalities, which are then tasked with costly water treatment. RDX Technologies collects these wastewater oils before they are processed, which saves energy and expenses for Virginia businesses.
Last year, Omega Protein developed processes to conserve about 18 million gallons of water annually by reclaiming water through the processing of fish, rather than removing that water from the ground. The water is treated and then used in the plant to wash down equipment and used to seal the vacuum pump in the company’s evaporator.