Our Fuel

Biodiesel from Waste Cooking Oil

All our vehicles ran on recycled waste cooking oil from local restaurants from 2007-2017.

The waste oil was collected from chip shops, restaurants and hotels in Brighton & Hove and across Sussex. It was then processed in a factory near Eastbourne to make biodiesel, a plant-based alternative to regular mineral diesel.

Unlike burning fossil fuels like mineral diesel – which releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which had been buried for millions of years – burning plant material only releases the carbon dioxide that the plant had absorbed in the last few years as it grew, not any new emissions in our lifetime. If no one used the oil, it would be sent to our already overstretched landfill sites, which in turn emit another greenhouse gas – methane.

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The benefits of biodiesel from waste cooking oil include:

  • Approx 75% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions compared with mineral diesel*
  • Virtually no sulphur dioxide (a major contributor to acid rain)*
  • Lower emissions of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and particulates*
  • Approx 25% reduction in nitrogen oxides if engine timing is ‘retarded’*
  • 79% less waste water and 96% less hazardous solid waste*
  • Biodegrades four times quicker than mineral diesel*
  • No wars, Arctic drilling or ocean rig disasters required

* Source: “How to make biodiesel”, Low Impact Living Initiative, Winslow 2005