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Waste Based Biodiesel to Power 1/3 of London Buses by March 2016

Transport for London (TfL)has unveiled plans for nearly one third of the city’s buses on B20 green diesel made from waste cooking oil by March 2016.

TfL explained that two bus operators, Stagecoach and Metroline, have signed deals with Argent Energy to supply them with the B20 green diesel.

The fuel is said to be cleaner burning and made by blending diesel with renewable biodiesel from waste products, including cooking oil and tallow from the meat processing trade.
It was said that the change will result in a reduction to CO2 emissions of 21,000 tonnes each year, in addition to the 48,000 tonne CO2 reduction from 2013 levels as a result of the introduction of lower emitting buses such as hybrids.

TfL said that it requires that biodiesel blended into B20 for London buses is made from waste, rather than crop-based feedstocks. It is estimated that buses running on waste-based B20 produce 10% less ‘well to wheel’ carbon emissions than a bus using ordinary diesel.

London’s bus network is one of the largest in the world, carrying almost 2.4 billion passengers every year. Currently, the 8900 strong bus fleet is said to use around 240 million litres of fuel per year. Under the new deals, about 80 million litres of the new greener blend of fuel per year will be consumed.

“This is ongoing progress for running our bus fleets on waste products and cutting CO2,” said deputy mayor for environment and energy, Matthew Pencharz.

“We will continue to work with our industry partners to use more of London’s used cooking oil turned into biodiesel right here in the city, creating green jobs and fuel self-sufficiency benefits,”he continued.

Mike Weston, TfL’s director of buses, added:“Our bus fleet is now making a major contribution to improving air quality and bringing down CO2 emissions… It’s just one of a number of measures we are taking to make London’s environment better for everyone.”

Quick Facts
· The Greater London Authority is undertaking a cost benefit analysis of biodiesel use and other renewable fuels in local authority fleets to help boroughs decide where the best opportunities lie to cut carbon and improve local air quality
· No mechanical change is needed to run a bus on a 20% blend of biofuel. The biodiesel being supplied by Argent Energy is all made from wastes and residues. This will be added to standard road diesel (EN590) which may already have a blend of up to 7% biodiesel allowed within the legislation
· B20 is a mix of 80% standard diesel with 20% biodiesel which are blended at Argent Energy’s London blending facility
· Delivering London’s Energy Future – the Mayor’s Climate Change Mitigation and Energy Strategy’ commits to minimising CO2 emissions from transport through the use of low carbon vehicles, technologies and fuels.

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