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Turning cooking oil into renewable fuels at BWI Marshall


Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) has become the seventh major commercial airport in the United States to launch a zero-waste sustainability programme that collaborates with partners to collect used cooking oil and convert them into renewable fuels.

As a result of the airport’s partnership with Fraport Maryland and Mahoney Environmental, BWI is now collecting used cooking oil generated from its 50+ hospitality partners that serve more than 18 million passengers per year, which will then be used as raw materials to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) or other renewable products.

In 2020, Fraport engaged Mahoney Environmental, a used cooking oil collection company and subsidiary of the world’s leading producer of renewable fuels, Neste, to conduct an extensive study of used cooking oil recycling for the entire concessions programme.

Mahoney was brought on as an onsite partner examining the full used cooking oil collection and recycling process. The study included use of equipment, time in motion analytics, and overall efficiency measures.

According to BWI, its extremely high design and safety standards required Mahoney Environmental to customise equipment to create a “leading-edge sustainability programme”.

“The result was a sustainability program that will revolutionise how used cooking oil collection will operate at BWI Marshall Airport now and for the future” noted Gary Gilliard, vice president of Fraport Maryland.

Dave Kimball, president and CEO of Mahoney Environmental, noted: “We are excited to be working with another premier US airport.

“Our used cooking oil collection systems and processes are specifically designed to eliminate safety concerns for restaurant employees who work with hot oils. This new project will also enable BWI Marshall Airport to become more sustainable.”

The joint initiative at BWI is called Solution ZERO and branded as a “Zero waste, Zero cost initiative”.

“Solution ZERO exemplifies the kind of initiatives that set Fraport apart as an industry leader and innovator,” added Fraport USA president and CEO, Mike Mullaney.

“We set the bar very high to maximise airport efficiencies and create a best-in-class passenger experience.”

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