UB extends waste oil fuelled trucks

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

A UB vehicle fuelled by waste oil coupled with a longer trailer, providing an 82.5% overall carbon dioxide saving
A UB vehicle fuelled by waste oil coupled with a longer trailer, providing an 82.5% overall carbon dioxide saving

Related tags Carbon dioxide Petroleum

United Biscuits (UB), the manufacturer of biscuits, cakes and snacks, has extended an industry leading initiative that makes use of waste cooking oil to power its delivery vehicles.

The baker has converted six Euro VI vehicles to run on Ultra biofuel. The fuel is claimed to generate carbon savings of up to 97% compared with traditional diesel.

UB’s 44t vehicles have been converted and operate a dual-fuel system with Ultra biofuel being 85% of the total fuel consumed. This generates an overall carbon dioxide saving of 82.5%, which is the carbon dioxide equivalent to removing 1.5M truck miles from the road each year.

UB has now converted 16 Euro VI vehicles to run on biofuel following its participation in the Department for Transport’s (DfT’s) Low Carbon Truck Trial, which was launched in 2012. As part of the initiative, the company formed a consortium with Ultra maker Convert2Green and the University of Leeds Energy Institute.

Extensive testing and analysis

The University of Leeds carried out extensive testing and analysis in real world conditions during the trial and published three papers containing the results. In addition to proving the carbon dioxide benefits, there was also a significant reduction in particulate emissions with no deterioration in engine performance or fuel consumption.

The move to Ultra biofuel is part of a series of commitments from UB to reduce carbon emissions across its logistic operations, which have already seen a total decrease of 43% in carbon dioxide since 2005. This includes the introduction of 62 two metre longer trailers to UB’s delivery fleet, operating under an extended DfT trial. These trailers carry 15% more pallets and help to reduce road miles by 450,000 a year.

Last September, the UB partnership won the ‘Low Carbon Fuel Initiative of the Year’ at the Low Carbon Vehicle Champions Awards and last month these and other initiatives were also recognised in UB being awarded the ‘Freight Operator of the Year’ at the National Transport Awards.

Removed 30M truck miles

Both projects form part of the company’s award winning ‘Fewer and Friendlier Miles’ campaign, which has removed a total of 30M truck miles from UK roads since launching in 2005.

“The success of our biofuel project has surpassed all our expectations and has been inspiring for all those involved, demonstrating the huge potential of power from waste,” ​said Rob Wright, UB’s head of distribution.

“The benefits of recycling waste cooking oil from our food factories is another step along United Biscuits’ green journey, which has already seen us make significant gains in reducing carbon emissions across our logistics business.”

Wright added: “It is estimated that the UK generates 250M litres of waste oils a year, and we are delighted to be able to demonstrate a sustainable use for this waste material with potential to deliver significant carbon dioxide savings from transport within the UK. We firmly believe that this approach and technology is scalable and we hope to set a precedent that other organisations will follow. We are open to working with suppliers, customers and competitors to share our experiences and expertise.”

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