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."

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