Greenergy turns waste sausage rolls into biodiesel

Privately owned company Greenergy is to start reducing the levels of waste sent to landfill and has partnered with waste food recycling company Brocklesby to produce biodiesel from food leftovers.

In a bid to reduce the environmental impact of the fuel that the company produces, while also creating a new alternative source of fuel, the joint venture will covert edible oils and unsalable food into biofuel. These unsalable products include pies, sausage rolls, pastry and crisps, because they are misshapen, overcooked or out of date.

Greenergy will source these products from a number of food manufacturers around the UK. In addition to pastries and crisps, taramasalata and oil containing breadcrumbs from the fish-frying process are also suitable materials with which to produce biodiesel.

Greenergy will handle these used cooking oils in its £50 million (€57 million) biodiesel production facility in Immingham, England.

The oils and fats present in these waste foods are then extracted using Brocklesby's novel process, before being purified further by Greenergy.

Any food solids that remain after processing are dried and then either composted or used to produce energy through anaerobic digestion. However, in the future Greenergy hopes to produce pellets or briquettes, or more fuel for cars in the form of bioethanol.

'We've always tried to find way 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,' says Greenergy's CEO Andrew Owens. 'The quantities of biodiesel that wr're 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. To put it into context, just one of these new facilities could handle enough waste pies or crisps to fill a cruise ship. With multiple plants, the potential for this kind of technology to reduce fuel emissions is considerable.

'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,' he adds.

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