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Bio Tech fuels a greener future.

At Bio Tech Oils UK Ltd in Tredegar we produce biodiesel. Biodiesel is a synthetic alternative fuel prepared through the process of transesterification, by chemically converting our feed stock oils into fatty acidmethyl esters (FAME or biodiesel).

Feed stocks that we can convert into biodiesel include waste vegetable oils, tallow, rapeseed, palmoil and essentially any natural oil. However, we tend not to use virgin oils, and especially palmoil, for ethical reasons.

Currently we are the biggest producer of biodiesel in Wales. Besides supplying many Welsh firms, we supplied the fuel for the generators at last year's Live Earth concert in London.

While the biodiesel we produce is generally blended withmineral diesel and used by haulage firms in South Wales as a road fuel, there are many other applications for such a fuel, some of which have been demonstrated publicly by the likes of Richard Branson with his bio-powered trains and his bio-powered 747 jet.

Fortunately, biodiesel can be delivered and distributed through the same systems that are already in place for the delivery and distribution of mineral diesel, and so there is no need to put in any expensive infrastructure. LPG required putting in massive infrastructural changes around the country to store the fuel, and vehicles require expensive conversions to run on it.

While most LPG fans tout the fuel as being green, it is still a fossil fuel and as such is still contributing to atmospheric pollution and possible global warming. Biodiesel does not require any special storage facilities, so no money and energy has to be wasted on creating new infrastructure or converting fuel systems. Biodiesel is quite literally a plug and-play renewable fuel.

As of April the Government's Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) programme will place an obligation on fuel suppliers to ensure that a certain percentage of their aggregate sales aremade up of biofuels. The effect of this will be to require five per cent of all UK fuel sold on UK forecourts to come from a renewable source by 2010. The RTFO is modelled on the existing Renewables Obligation in the UK electricity supply industry. The transport sector is responsible for 25 per cent of emissions and through the RTFO is expected to reduce the carbon emissions from road transport in 2010 by about 0.7-0.8million tonnes, equivalent to 2.6-3million tonnes of CO2.

Biodiesel can be blended into mineral diesel at any level, while falling under different British Standards depending on concentration. Essentially, above five per cent is covered by BS EN 14214, while below five per cent is covered by BS EN 490.

Interestingly, when a fuel is sold at or below a five per cent blend level the sellers do not have to tell the purchasers about there being biodiesel present; so the chances are that if you drive a diesel-powered car you have already used our fuel. In which case, I say thank you for using renewable fuel and making the future more sustainable for our children.

Dr. AndrewJ. Price For more information please contact Bio Tech Oils UK Ltd, Tafarnaubach Ind Est, Tredegar, Gwent NP22 3AA tel 01495 717 717 fax 01495 711 990 Visit us at


Bio Tech supplied all the fuels for the energy needed for the Live Earth concert
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Mar 26, 2008
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