Gloucester company pioneers fuel from used cooking oil, maggots & salmon farming waste

Green Fuels James Hygate

The BBC is reporting this morning that American scientists have found a way of turning food waste into a type of paraffin that works in jet engines.

But wait – the Americans are not the only ones looking at radical ways to repurpose waste. Closer to home, in Berkeley near Gloucester, one company, Green Fuels, is way ahead in this regard, and you can read our interview with the brains behind Green Fuels, James Hygate, on page 92 in our MARCH issue of Business & Innovation Magazine, out now.

A new paper on carbon-negative sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) has just been pubished by scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the University of Dayton, Yale University, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the article outlines a biorefining process using the untapped energy of food waste and other wet waste to produce SAF both compatible with existing jet engines and capable of supporting net-zero-carbon flight. In practice, that means that GHG emissions created from jet fuel combustion are zeroed out by lifecycle GHG emissions removed or diverted from the atmosphere when producing the fuel.

But Gloucestershire-based Green Fuels is the world’s leading distributed-scale biodiesel and advanced biofuels company. The company has been turning used cooking oil into biodiesel for years.

Green Fuels has been pioneering the technology and chemistry of sustainable fuels since 2003. Waste-derived biodiesel is one of the most carbon-efficient fuels available, and Green Fuels equipment has displaced an estimated 6.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions (CO2 equivalents) to date.

The company is also investigating the development of fuel from maggots, and repurposing sugar cane waste as fuel.

Another project, called SALMO, is a Maritime Research and Innovation UK initiative supported by the UK Department for Transport, which will convert waste biomass from salmon farming into drop-in fuels suitable for use in marine diesel engines.

You can read our interview with the brains behind Green Fuels, James Hygate, on page 92 in our Q1 Spring issue of Business & Innovation Magazine here