Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Energy Supply through Biodiesel Production and Utilization(ST6635-1)

William A. Guptill


Toad Hollow Farms successfully established an integrated farm that includes a collection and composting system for 1,800 tons/year of grocery wastes from over 20 locations. Some of their generators of food scraps also generate yellow grease, and they have identified other grease generators as well.

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Project Description

Researchers hoped to: 1) develop a collection process for yellow grease 2) design, permit, and construct a facility for on-farm biodiesel production 3) demonstrate the use of biodiesel in their agricultural equipment 4) analyze the properties of the biodiesel produced 5) perform an economic sensitivity analysis that considers future petrodiesel prices, credits, electricity costs, feedstock costs, and economies of scale; and 6) host an open house and facility tours


Production levels of 6,000 gallons/month were targeted by 2003, with a payback of seven years. Initial sales projections were for $1.25/gallon of biodiesel. Local generators of yellow grease support the proposal because their costs for grease disposal are rising. Success would diversify farm revenues. One permanent job would be added to the farm. Biodiesel is a renewable, drop-in alternative to diesel fuel that is biodegradable in soil and water.

Project Results

The project achieved some of its goals. The farm produced biodiesel for use on-site. Heat exchangers and other process efficiency improvements were implemented. Difficulties with yellow grease customers complicated collection, and the biodiesel production unit may have been too small for efficient methanol recovery or high-value glycerin use. In addition, since the project was funded, the biodiesel industry has grown much more sophisticated.


William A. Guptill
4505 Tanner Rd.
Nedrow, NY 13120

Principle Investigator

Bill Guptill

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Indigenous/Renewable Energy Resources

Technologies Types:

NYSERDA Contact Information

Judy Jarnefeld


R&D - Environment & Energy Res

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST6635-1

Last Updated: 12/30/2010