Green energy and biofuels company REG Bio-Power has launched a new processing facility – the first of its kind in the UK – after an investment of almost one million pounds.
REG Bio-Power, part of AIM-listed Renewable Energy Generation Group, opened the new facility – which forms the hub for its national operations – after demand for its services rocketed over the last 18 months.
The company, under the name Living Fuels, collects waste vegetable oil from almost 300 local authority recycling centres as well as commercial sites and bulk aggregators. This raw product is then processed into a green biofuel called LF100 (not a biodiesel) which is completely free from chemicals, additives and reagents.
LF100 is utilised by REG Bio-Power, under the name Living Power, to service a portfolio of dedicated combined heat and power (CHP) generators across the UK – including a 4.8 mW renewable energy plant in Suffolk. To date, the Living Power engines have clocked up over 40,000 operating hours using LF100.
Ian Collins, managing director of REG Bio-Power, explains:
“This processing facility represents a real step change. The last four years has seen us process almost a million litres of waste vegetable oil. With this new facility, along with an 18,000 litre tanker for collecting the oil, we can process 20 million litres per annum – which, as LF100, could produce enough energy for 20,000 average homes per year.”
In the UK, it is estimated that over ¼ million tonnes of waste vegetable oil is produced every year – half of which has historically gone to landfill or down the drains. Water companies spend more than £15 million per year in direct clean up of fats, oils and greases in sewers.
“However,” says Collins, “that pool of waste vegetable oil could provide enough energy for up to ¼ million average homes each year. Waste vegetable oil will not solve the energy crisis alone, but it will make a significant impact.”