Fleet News

How to run a fleet on waste cooking oil

AN environmental initiative in Wales has powered a fleet of vehicles for nearly 40,000 miles using cooking oil that would otherwise have been dumped in a landfill site.

More than 33,000 litres of fuel were created from vegetable-based cooking oil during the seven-month project by the Wales Environment Trust to power eight vehicles.

A pilot scale biodiesel production plant was funded using a £141,000 'Biffaward' grant and saved an estimated 90 tonnes of CO2.

Biffaward is a fund created by Biffa Waste Services which, in 1997, agreed to donate landfill tax credits to the Royal Society for Nature Conservation.

The landfill tax is paid by companies putting waste into landfill sites. Biffa collects the tax on behalf of Customs and Excise, but is allowed to divert up to 6.5% to environmental projects and grants made currently amount to more than £56 million.

Its work to promote the benefits of biodiesel comes as the Government is looking to the UK's fleet operators to prove the benefits of clean fuel technologies for vehicles, such as gas and electric power and biodiesel.

Fleets will not be forced by the Government to choose between liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and petrol/electric hybrids, according to a senior Department for Transport official who insists the two fuels can co-exist (FleetNewsNet July 24). But the industry has already been warned that years of work to encourage fleets to adopt alternative fuels are being put at risk in an increasingly bitter battle to win Government support for competing clean energies.

While fleet decision-makers are looking for guidance on a secure and long-term alternative to petrol and diesel, the Government has taken a step back from the battle, insisting it cannot help companies make a decision.

Instead, British business is being bombarded by a series of claims and counter-claims about modern fuels that could make doing nothing seem the safest option. The warning comes after conflicting reports offered support for one clean fuel and criticised another.

The Institute of Public Policy Research, in a document called 'Tomorrow's Low Carbon Cars', warned that the 'case for LPG will grow increasingly weak.

But on the same day, the LP Gas Association revealed its own findings challenging the credibility of biodiesel as an alternative fuel. Its research claimed that the large-scale incineration of bi-products from biodiesel manufacturers wiped out any greenhouse gas advantages.

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