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Carbon savings from recycled cooking oil

14 September 2011

The University of the West of England powers generators with waste to energy company Convert2Green to make Carbon savings

The University of the West of England (UWE) is working with Convert2Green to ensure that its new ‘Architecture & Planning’ faculty building will adhere to its overall sustainability strategy by using bio-fuel in the building’s boiler, recycled from cooking oil from the university canteens.

Convert2Green intends to collect the used cooking oil from the university and refine it into bio-diesel which will then be delivered back to the campus in bio-diesel fuelled trucks, to be used in a boiler to heat the building.

“Sustainability is a top priority at The University of the West of England – our agenda is governed by the university’s sustainability strategy which sets out key targets for performance in areas including carbon reduction, waste management, education for sustainable development, procurement, travel and much more,” explains Tessa Gordelier, energy management engineer, UWE.

“When discussing potential fuel sources, we focused on waste streams that already exist on campus; the idea of cooking oil being used as a fuel was discussed and with some investigation we found that with help from Convert2Green we could turn our used cooking oil into bio-diesel to use in the boiler.”

Convert2Green recycles the used cooking oil in a refinery which is also powered by bio-fuel generators, making even more carbon savings for its customers and ensuring a completely joined up waste to energy cycle.

“UWE’s key target for CO2 reduction is 22.5% absolute reduction between 2005/6 and 2020/21, which means that all new buildings are designed to be low carbon and incorporate best practice sustainability construction techniques,” explains Tessa Gordelier.

“We were adamant we wanted a supplier that only traded in recycled cooking oil and used no virgin crops in its bio-fuel feedstock. We were aware that we may need slightly more fuel than we produce, and wanted to ensure this would come from recycled fuel stocks not virgin fuel. We were keen to find a supplier that was already operating in the area as we didn’t want to add additional fuel miles for the transport of the fuel to and from our site. Convert 2 Green was already making deliveries near our site - so that ticked the box.

“We achieved a BREEAM Excellent rating for the new building and as well as having exceptional environmental credentials, being the home to the Department of Planning and Architecture, it can be used as a teaching tool and to test emerging technologies.”

UWE has 30,000 students, 3,500 staff across four main campuses.

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