Driving ahead after waste oil fuels a new initiative

Published: Monday 6 September 2010

Blackpool and The Fylde College are driving ahead with their latest environmental initiative - to produce and trial their very own Biodiesel to fuel the delivery van.

Waste vegetable oil from the School of Catering and the College’s refectories will be used to make the fuel, meaning virtually no additional resources will be required and there will be no environmental impact from waste oil transportation.

Pam Reynolds, Sustainability Officer at the College, added:

“Not only is this another innovative way the College is reducing its impact on the environment, but we also hope to involve a variety of students from Engineering and Academic Studies. This is an excellent learning resource which will offer a unique learning experience and allow students to experience the whole process, including procedures for health and safety, that the project entails.”

If the trial is successful, the College intends to use Biodiesel permanently to run its delivery van, which travels on average 20,000 miles per year.

Eco-Technology student John Elliot will assist with the production on site at the Bispham Campus, and will work closely with the College’s sustainability officer, campus services and health & safety teams to carry out a 30 day Biodiesel Fuel pod trial.

Commenting, John said:

“I’ve worked with Biodiesel for years and I think its brilliant! Making it is a simple process and I’ve never experienced any major problems with the vehicles. I’m really pleased that the College are trialling it and I’m happy to be involved with the project.”

Biodiesel facts:

  • Biodiesel fuel does not need to be drilled or refined like petroleum diesel.
  • Biodiesel is not harmful to the environment – it is biodegradable, non-toxic, non hazardous and essentially free of sulphur and aromatics.
  • It’s energy efficient - producing biodiesel is easier, less time consuming and consumes less energy than producing diesel.
  • Biodiesel produces no net carbon dioxide emissions – it is derived indirectly from living plant sources which photosynthesise and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This is in stark contrast to fossil-based fuels.
  • Using biodiesel fuel not only helps maintain our environment, it also helps in keeping the people around us healthy.
  • According to Eco2 Resources UK the average annual fuel usage for a car is 2,500 litres which would produces 6,575 kg CO2 /litre but by using 100% biodiesel a car will only produce 2,675 kg CO2 /litre which is a 41% decrease is CO2 emissions.
  • Even the waste product glycerine can be used as a de-greasing soap in power washers so nothing has to be wasted as a result of production.

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