Thursday, October 29, 2009

Used cooking to reduce South Africa’s carbon emissions

Trucks delivering concrete to Cape Town’s 2010 football stadium are using diesel enhanced by used cooking oil and poultry fat.

This was revealed this week by Bruce Thorndike, CEO of Biogreen Diesel, a renewable energy company that is pioneering the conversion of waste oil to a less expensive, pollution-free biodiesel.

As waste cooking oil is reused, the Free Fatty Acid content (FFA) increases, making it harmful to consumers and decreasing the quality of biodiesel that can be made. Often this oil finds its way into animal feed, pet food, or sold to unsuspecting consumers.

A safe alternative is to have this oil converted into a high quality biodiesel by a reputable company. Monthly tests on Biogreen Diesel’s finished product have certified that the company consistently produces high quality biodiesel that meets international standards.

“No other company in South Africa has set this as a norm,” said Jeff Theodor, a Director in Biogreen Diesel.

Although Biogreen Diesel only became operational earlier this year, the company also supplies biodiesel for Pick n Pay and Spar delivery trucks.

The company uses the first patented Jet Reactor, invented by Org Nieuwoudt, to convert waste oil from restaurants and retailers, to an environmentally friendly fuel that can be used as a mixture with, or a substitute for, diesel.

Biodiesel has a minimal impact on the environment. It is non toxic, has a higher flash point than mineral diesel so it is safer to handle, and has reduced exhaust emissions in comparison - 400L biodiesel exchanged for the same volume of diesel will reduce the Carbon Dioxide emissions by 1 tonne.

“Sixty percent of the brown smog that often sits over Cape Town is created by diesel emissions,” said Dave Morison, Production Manager of Biogreen Diesel, who has a background in atmospheric sciences. Switching to biofuels will help to reduce this pollution.

By using a biodiesel/diesel mix, Pick n Pay and Spar combined will reduce their carbon emissions by approximately 1000 tonnes in the Western Cape over the next year.

Biogreen Diesel, based in Cape Town, will open in Johannesburg in November and plans to expand operations to Port Elizabeth and Durban by mid-2010.

Posted by HWB Communications, Cape Town's premier PR agency specialising in crisis communications & media relations in South Africa. BIOGREEN is a client of HWB.