Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Times Artice- Fuelled by poultry power

Fuelled by poultry power

Nov 22, 2009 12:00 AM | By Anton Ferreiar

Cape Town's Green Point stadium is not only a spectacular venue for the 2010 World Cup - it's a monument to thousands of dead chickens that did their bit to reduce global warming.

The firm that provided many of the pre-cast concrete seats and beams for the stadium, Cape Concrete, runs its trucks on environment-friendly biodiesel made in part from chicken fat.

"It really works well, no problems," said Cape Concrete managing director Darty Louw. "You're burning much cleaner fuel, which is also locally made. It's not nearly as toxic as regular diesel and is a great way of getting rid of waste."

The biodiesel is supplied by Cape Town-based BioGreen, which uses a locally developed "jet reactor" to turn waste cooking oil and chicken fat into a fuel which, the company boasts, meets US and European quality specifications.

BioGreen director Jeff Theodor said the company obtained used oil and fat to use as the main ingredient in its diesel. "That's why we're in the business," he said. "It's the reduction of carbon emissions. Is it the future? Of course it's the future."

BioGreen operates out of a small warehouse filled with tanks, pipes, pumps and the smell of sunflower seed oil. At the heart of the process is the jet reactor, or what Theodor calls the "magic box": a steel chamber the size of a shoe box in which the raw materials are pumped through nozzles.

The patent is held by Org Nieuwoudt, who adapted a device originally designed to extract gold from slurry, which is ground-up ore mixed with water.

"For our trucks we only allow a 5% blend with normal petroleum diesel," said Christo Kleynhans, product manager for Mercedes-Benz trucks. "If you increase that above 5% you need to increase your service intervals."

Friday, November 20, 2009

News from the week, 20/11/09

Biogreen has had a busy week organising our move to Johannesburg, which should be complete within the next month. Our Johannesburg refinery will be supplying biodiesel to Pick n Pay delivery trucks in the Gauteng area. This is mainly due to the success we have experienced in running Biogreen diesel in Pick n Pay’s delivery vehicles in the Western Cape. It is our continued effort to produce biodiesel of the highest quality that will soon lead to our expansion country wide, with refineries set to open in Durban and Port Elizabeth next year.

There has been a lot of debate regarding the viability and benefits of biofuels in reducing carbon emissions. The criticism regarding biofuels is largely centred on the concern that the demand for biofuel feedstock has the potential to lead to an increase in food shortages and deforestation. Biogreen diesel however uses only waste cooking oil supplied by the hospitality industry, as opposed to virgin oil. The amount of biodiesel produced is therefore reliant on the use of oil in the hospitality industry, as opposed to crop production like many other biofuel producers. Furthermore, Biogreen does not support the palm oil industry, which has led to huge deforestation of tropical peatlands. All the oil we supply and use is sunflower oil, with no palm oil content. Although using palm oil is a potentially cheaper option for Biogreen, it would be to the detriment of the environment. Biogreen is strongly opposed to this and we are continuously trying to educate the hospitality industry of the negative environmental effects which occur should they choose to use palm oil.

Biogreen was interviewed by the Sunday Times earlier this week. The article will feature in this Sunday’s edition, so keep an eye out for it. If you are interested in what our company is doing and would like to know more, please feel free to email us at

Friday, November 6, 2009

News from the week, 06/11/09

Biogreen has had another productive week in our effort to reduce carbon emissions. Our Biogreen Oil client base is growing everyday with restaurants joining in our effort to reduce carbon emissions. We are currently supplying oil to roughly 130 restaurants in the Cape Town area. Two new and exciting clients, Protea Hotels and Southern Sun Hotels, will now also be using our oil in an effort to become more environmentally conscious. Each new client also helps in our mission to reduce the amount of harmful carcinogenic oil being sold onto poorer communities.

Biogreen diesel is running smoothly in both the Pick n Pay and Spar delivery vehicles in the Western Cape, with operations opening soon in Johannesburg. A total of 4903 litres of biodiesel were sold this week alone, which results in a reduction of roughly 12 tonnes of CO2 emissions . We have managed to reduce roughly 140 tonnes of carbon in total so far this year.

In our R&D department, we are making huge progress with our research into different algae strains as a source of renewable energy. Furthermore, Wall Street Journal has recently named algae as one of the top 5 technologies that could change everything. We are also yielding extremely positive results from our research into a glycerol based organic fertilizer and glycerol as a chicken feed additive. We are continuously carrying out research on ways in which to expand the company, in order to further our objective of saving the environment. Biogreen has been nominated for the Climate Change Leadership Awards 2010, the results of which we look forward to.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Used cooking to reduce South Africa’s carbon emissions

Press Releases - 29 October 2009
Used cooking to reduce South Africa’s carbon emissions
Trucks delivering concrete to Cape Town’s 2010 football stadium are using diesel enhanced by used cooking oil and poultry fat. This was revealed this week by Bruce Thorndike, CEO of Biogreen Diesel, a renewable energy company that is pioneering the conversion of waste oil to a less expensive, pollution-free biodiesel. As waste cooking oil is reused, the Free Fatty Acid content (FFA) increases, making it harmful to consumers and decreasing the quality of biodiesel that can be made. Often this oil finds its way into animal feed, pet food, or sold to unsuspecting consumers.

A safe alternative is to have this oil converted into a high quality biodiesel by a reputable company. Monthly tests on Biogreen Diesel’s finished product have certified that the company consistently produces high quality biodiesel that meets international standards.
“No other company in South Africa has set this as a norm,” said Jeff Theodor, a Director in Biogreen Diesel. Although Biogreen Diesel only became operational earlier this year, the company also supplies biodiesel for Pick n Pay and Spar delivery trucks.

The company uses the first patented Jet Reactor, invented by Org Nieuwoudt, to convert waste oil from restaurants and retailers, to an environmentally friendly fuel that can be used as a mixture with, or a substitute for, diesel. Biodiesel has a minimal impact on the environment. It is non toxic, has a higher flash point than mineral diesel so it is safer to handle, and has reduced exhaust emissions in comparison - 400L biodiesel exchanged for the same volume of diesel will reduce the Carbon Dioxide emissions by 1 tonne.

“Sixty percent of the brown smog that often sits over Cape Town is created by diesel emissions,” said Dave Morison, Production Manager of Biogreen Diesel, who has a background in atmospheric sciences. Switching to biofuels will help to reduce this pollution. By using a biodiesel/diesel mix, Pick n Pay and Spar combined will reduce their carbon emissions by approximately 1000 tonnes in the Western Cape over the next year. Biogreen Diesel, based in Cape Town, will open in Johannesburg in November and plans to expand operations to Port Elizabeth and Durban by mid-2010.