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Rediff.com  » Business » Your car may soon run on oil from food waste!

Your car may soon run on oil from food waste!

Last updated on: May 12, 2011 15:22 IST

Your car may soon run on oil from food waste

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In what could give new meaning to fast food, now scientists have discovered a way to extract oil from pasties, crisps and other food waste and turn that into an eco-friendly fuel.

British fuel supplier Greenergy International announced that it has developed a new technology to extract cooking oil from food waste and blend them with diesel to produce an environmentally-friendly fuel.

According to the company, which produces 10 billion litres of biodiesel and diesel annually, it has invested 50 million pounds in its production facility in Lincolnshire to process used cooking oils -- which can make up to 30 per cent of some processed foods.

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Image: Andrew Owens, founder and chairman, Greenergy International.
Photographs: Courtesy, Greenergy International
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The green fuel, the company claimed, will soon be ready to be sold at petrol stations across Britain, the Daily Mail reported.

Andrew Owens, founder and chairman, Greenergy International, said: "We have always tried to find ways of reducing the environmental impact of our fuel and as oil prices continue to rise, it's obviously important to develop alternative sources of fuel.

"The quantities of biodiesel that we are currently producing from solid food waste are small, but we're expecting to scale up so that this soon becomes a significant proportion of our biodiesel.

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Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
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"It's great to be taking these products, which would otherwise have gone to landfill or compost, and turning them into a new source of fuel."

Greenergy said it is working with Brocklesby Ltd, which developed a method of extracting oil from food waste. It then purifies the oil further and turns it into biodiesel.

Generally, food solids are dried and either composted or used to produce energy through anaerobic digestion. But the firm announced that it will use the waste to make solid biomass fuel pellets or briquettes, or more fuel for cars in the form of bioethanol.

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Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
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Biodiesel is made through a chemical process called transesterification whereby the glycerine is separated from the fat or vegetable oil.

It contains no petroleum, but it can be blended at any level with petroleum diesel to create a biodiesel blend and can be used in compression-ignition (diesel) engines with little or no modifications.


Image: Andrew Owens, founder and chairman, Greenergy International.
Photographs: Courtesy, Greenergy International
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