Food for thought (and energy)

Pääblogistimme on jäänyt toimivapaalle ja jatkamme kirjoittelua nyt koko tiimin voimin. Tervetuloa jälleen jutun juurille!

Tämän artikkelin on kirjoittanut brittiläinen asiantuntijamme Phil Hollins, joka on perehtynyt mm. biodieselin valmistukseen.NB! This article has been written by Phil Hollins who is our British specialist on biodiesel production.

Although decidedly unhealthy, I do enjoy a good burger once in a while……

However, I am mindful that the UK has some of the highest levels of obesity in Europe. And certainly, having recently arrived from the UK, I have notice that waistlines are somewhat narrower over here.

So what has all this got to do with bioenergy or environmental sustainability, well……

With a growing world population, transport fuel produced directly from food crops meant for human consumption, or in utilizing land that could be used for such crops, has proven to be controversial. Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest via CO2 lifecycle analysis, that in some instances, emissions are not substantially lowered when compared to existing fossil fuel usage. However, if a waste product from the human food supply-chain is used, these issues are less pronounced.

So what if, waste vegetable oil was to be used to produce biodiesel?

Out of curiosity, a small pilot study was carried out using three sources of waste vegetable oil. These samples came from a hotel in Jyväskylä and two burger fast-food outlets, one in Jyväskylä and the other one in Saarijärvi. It was left to JAMK students to test the suitability of these waste oil samples for conversion to biodiesel. The results were both interesting and surprising, with clear differences found between these samples and the biodiesel produced.

It is certainly possible to run vehicles on biodiesel produced from such waste. It has been successfully demonstrated elsewhere. But would it be possible for example, to operate a bus service run on biodiesel here in Jyväskylä?

A number of questions remain to be answered, including:
• How much waste vegetable oil is available?
• How suitable are the vehicles
• What are the financial implications?

Further work is currently been undertaken by JAMK students to investigate the feasibility of larger scale production and utilization of such biodiesel.

Hmm….all those questions are making me hungry.
Now, where is that ruis burger………… ?