Cooking oil converted to biofuel
Catering companies at Heathrow use cooking oil to prepare food for the
76,500 people who work at the airport and the 180,000 passengers who pass
through each day. This oil needs to be disposed of appropriately, to make
sure that it doesn't block pipes or pollute water courses.
However, rather than throw used cooking oil away, we are recycling it to make biodiesel - a more sustainable fuel
that can be used instead of fossil fuels to run diesel vehicles. Currently,
100% of the waste cooking oil produced at the airport is being recycled in
some way, with over 85% being recycled as biodiesel, and we are looking to increase this even further. This is
helping move us towards achieving our goal to recycle 70% of the waste
generated at Heathrow.
In 2009, we worked with our logistics service partner to collect 57,000
litres of used cooking oil from Heathrow's catering companies and send it
off-site for conversion to biodiesel at a specialist facility. From here,
the biodiesel produced is added to the national vehicle fuel supply -
providing the equivalent amount of fuel to power a car to drive round the
circumference of the Earth 20 times.
Recycling the oil incurs no cost for the caterers, and each litre of used
cooking oil creates almost the same volume of biodiesel.
We are looking to make the process even more efficient, to include all of
the waste cooking oil produced at the airport in the recycling scheme,
and to potentially include waste cooking oil from other local businesses in
the future. Additionally, we are looking at ways to re-use the biodiesel at
Heathrow, to help close the loop between the waste we produce and the fuel