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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Down to Earth Biofuel Facility Tour

Jimmy Chancellor, Chris Moyer,
McKay Johsnon
 In the quest to understand the final destination of disposed products, the Zero Waste Zones Team toured Down to Earth's biofuel production facility in Monroe, GA.  Located in the rolling hills of rural Georgia, Down to Earth is prepared to serve as an educational facility for the industry.  The production facility was built without walls for ease in demonstrating the process of converting spent grease into biofuel.
Ingredients & End Product

Clean and efficient, Down to Earth runs an impressive operation, complete with an adjacent lab where associates work on Phase II (of III) of an EPA grant to develop more efficient systems for biofuel production.

Solar Panels
Walking their talk, the plant is run entirely on solar thermal produced electricity in the summer.  Once the photo voltaic system is installed by early summer, Down to Earth will be completely off the grid with their biofuel production facility.

Although not advertised, farmers, truckers and individuals may purchase biofuel at Down to Earth. Currently, an average of 2 - 3 customers each day purchase fuel.

Down to Earth works closely with Clean Energy Biofuels, a program under the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, who delivers the spent grease collected from the metro Atlanta foodservice operators, many ZWZ Participants

At the tour, Chris Moyer of the National Restaurant Association's Conserve Program, discussed simple operating procedures kitchen staff may follow to lessen the contaminants in their collected grease.  Stay tuned for recommendations from the ZWZ team on how foodservice operators may assist in providing a clean, higher value product.

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