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Boris Johnson urges biodiesel use in London buses

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has called for the use of biofuels to power the capital’s bus network.

Johnson said: “By capturing used cooking oil right here in London and turning it into biodiesel we could provide 20% of the fuel needed to power London’s entire bus fleet, while saving more than 50,000 tonnes of CO2 and creating hundreds of new jobs.”

This follows the publication of a report produced for the Greater London Authority (GLA), which examained the benefits of using biodiesel.

London produces about 44 million litres of used cooking oil per year that could be used as feedstock for biofuel, said the report ‘The market for biodiesel production from used cooking oils and fats, oils and greases in London’, which was produced by environmental consultants LRS Consultancy for the GLA.

Biodiesel use in vehicles is expected to rise from 4.75% to 10% of all transport fuel in the UK by 2020, according to the report.

It states: “When produced to the appropriate standards, it can be introduced to existing diesel engines without any need for engine modification.”

GLA has said it aims to investigate using biodiesel made from used cooking oil and fats, oils and greases (FOGs), and evaluate the potential to reduce the emissions and carbon footprint of the bus fleet in London by using biodiesel instead of petrodiesel.

Hugh Smith, principal consultant at LRS, said: “There is an opportunity for water companies to utilise the fats, oils and greases collected from the sewers beneath our feet and use them to manufacture a low carbon fuel, in the form of biodiesel.”

LRS also held a biodiesel workshop following the publication of the report for waste producers, collectors, reprocessors, manufacturers and potential buyers including Transport for London, which is considering using biodiesel in the capital’s bus network. The GLA has said will review the opportunities presented at the workshop.

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