Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation

    The UK Government has set the fifth Carbon Budget which limits greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 57% of 1990 levels over 2028-2032 (as an average annual level). The Government is now preparing the Emission Reduction Plan which will set out our approach to delivering these reductions.

    Domestic transport is now the largest emitting sector, accounting for nearly a quarter of UK greenhouse gas emissions. Transport emissions increased in both 2014 and 2015. As demand for travel continues to grow, we need to decarbonise transport more rapidly to meet our future Carbon Budgets. Waste animal fats obtained from tanneries, slaughterhouses and meat processing units are considered as a highly potential feedstock for biodiesel production because of its chemical inertness, zero corrosivity, better calorific value and renewable resources.

    Biodiesel has gained attention all over the world because of its robustness and self-sustainability unparalleled to any other renewable fuel. Waste animal fat can be concluded as the most successful feedstock with low cost and higher potential. This righteous decision has solved numerous problems related to environmental concerns, waste disposal and handling and economy of fuel. On the other hand, production of biodiesel is dependent on Free Fatty Acid concentration, type of fat, molar ratio, catalyst concentration, reaction time and temperature which must be optimised for an ideal transesterification reaction.

    Looking ahead, the global imperative to radically reduce the carbon impacts of transport, particularly air travel, presents a window of opportunity for the UK. With our world-class research and engineering capacity, we are well-positioned to claim a significant portion of a global advanced fuels market that could be worth up to £15 billion in 2030 for our by-products, which whilst produced for the food industry can be transferred quickly to the Biodiesel market because of the very low free fatty acids.

    The UK’s adoption of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation will add 350,000-400,000 mt/pa to existing demand to the European biodiesel market in the coming years, much of which will need to be met by domestic production, and recovering animal fats make for very sound environmental and sustainable options.