fat - the new alternative to crude oil?|
London is at the forefront
of an energy revolution.
A new and revolutionary process means that chip
fat can be converted into diesel oil.
In future, our favourite national
dish could oil the wheels of industry and might even find its way into our car
As London faces tough EU restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions
due to come into force in the next few years, Thalia Pellegrini reports on the
search for more eco-friendly sources of fuel.
Terry Woo owns a fish and chip shop in Bromley. He is doing well and business
But theres a growing by-product of Terrys success
- used cooking oil. The busier he gets, the more fat he accumulates:
use about 60 litres of cooking oil a week from this I have about 20-25
litres of waste oil to get rid of."
Woo has 20 litres of fat to dispose of weekly|
just a problem for chip shops. Terry faces a common problem that many food-associated
businesses also have - how to dispose of so much left over cooking oil?
London more than 50 million litres of used fat is produced each year. In the past
it was all taken off their hands for free, ending up on farms to be added to animal
However fears over BSE forced the Government to ban this practice.
Businesses now have to pay to have it taken away and disposed of
at landfill sites. This costs about £15 each time they collect it.
Terry this means twice monthly visits and over a year the cost adds up. Its
a cost hed obviously rather not pay.
Down the drain
Not all catering firms are as diligent as Terry's. They do not want the
extra costs and hassle of arranging for their waste oil to be collected.
the drain - the dilemma of oil disposal|
Some opt from the
easier option of pouring it down the drain. But this causes huge environmental
problems its also illegal.
Cooking fat solidifies in
the sewers. If its left, it will eventually block the pipes preventing
toilet waste and dirty water from flushing through.
It can even causing
flooding. Thames Water currently spends £3.8m a year clearing these blockages.
They have to break up the fat with a high powered jet, suck it into a tank
and take to a landfill site.
problems - Jeff Farrow from Thames Water|
Jeff Farrow from
Thames Water is overseeing the latest emptying of a sewer:
the problems come from typical London streets with lots of restaurants and take-aways
all in the same place; unfortunately some of them do discharge fat, oil and grease
into the sewer.
"We try and educate them, to work with
them to help them stop putting the grease down there; but we will have to prosecute
if someone decides not to follow the rules."
theres a new solution that could prevent the expensive clean up operations
and legal prosecutions.
There is a new scheme that turns fat into
From fat to fuel
The fat is put through a revolutionary
new process which transforms it into a form of fuel called bio diesel.
environmentally friendly and will run most diesel cars.
last few months Terry has taken part in a scheme that collects his fat for free
so it can be turned into car fuel.
from Bromley council says, "we collect the oil, then its taken back
to the yard where we process it.
"Because its a free service,
theyre obviously saving money and there are environmental benefits too as
we are able to recycle it".
|"I think its brilliant. I dont have to pay
for it and the Council get what they want. I get rid of the stuff I dont
want. Its good for both parties". |
Woo, fish and chip shop owner|
In the whole of the UK there
are only a handful of companies making bio diesel from used cooking fat.
Commodities in Norfolk is one such company.
They produce over 200,000 litres
of bio diesel a week using oil from restaurants, take-aways and crisp factories.
Dennis Thouless explains the process:
"The oil comes
to us in containers, we take it into the factory where we put chemicals with it
to turn it into bio diesel. This is then pumped out then stored in tanks and from
there out to fuel and transport companies".
is no waste at all from this process- there is the bio diesel, there is glycerine
and fatty acids which can be central heating oil.
Chip fuelled cars
Dennis presents Thalia with a finished bottle of bio diesel. He tells her,
"you can put this in your diesel car - it will run your car with no modifications
at all. Just pour it in".
of the frying pan and into the van! |
Thalia asks if it will
do any damage to her engine. "No", says Dennis... "except make
it run better".
Southwark Council are the first local authority
to use bio diesel fuel to run its fleet.
They currently use it in 65 of
its vehicles but hope to double this figure in the coming months.
Davies from Southwark Council says they have come up against manufacturers saying
they cant put plant fuel into the vehicles:
now a lot of companies are thinking about it seriously and theyre getting
involved in the testing. Its a step forward but there was resistance in
the first instance."
Theyve found it gives off less
harmful emissions than ordinary diesel, and is improving local air quality.
A few miles away in Bromley the local council also want
to start using bio diesel. But they plan to go a stage further.
2006 used cooking fat will be collected and then converted on site into bio diesel
for use in local authority vehicles only.
Parker says London could be a trail blazer|
This will the first
bio diesel production plant based in a city environment anywhere in the UK.
Larry Parker of Sustainable Energy Action has been campaigning for the
last few years to get the plant built.
He says it will be fantastic for
London, "It will be a trailblazer - this will be a totally locally sustainable
model whereby youre using the waste resource, and transforming it into a
high quality product".
The Government is also starting to
support the use of bio diesel there is a tax break on it and they have
released a renewable transport fuels obligation.
This will mean that we
will have to use more bio fuel in the future. It is starting to be taken seriously.
In London there are currently just two places where ordinary motorists
can buy bio diesel.
In France and Germany however they are much further
ahead, its sold on most forecourts.
We are catching up fast
in the next 10 years most of us could be filling up our cars with used
chip fat oil.
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- tough at the top
through the pain barrier but do ballerinas risk injury?|
Nine relives her dancing youth watching pupils going through their practice at
the Central School of Ballet in London.
They all make the dancing
look graceful and effortless but beneath the smiles the physical demands
of ballet are punishing.
A recent study of over 60 different sports revealed
that ballet topped the list as the most physically and mentally demanding
even beating figure skating and gymnastics.
Sara Matthews, Assistant
Director at the school, explains:
"The pupils expect their
bodies to go through a lot of tough motions, such as legs up round their ears,
flexing their knees fully, bearing their body weight onto one leg with another
raised in the air and landing in certain positions".
pointe but at what cost to the dancer?|
The injury rate is
high too. Eight out of 10 dancers can expect to get hurt in some way during the
course of a year.
The big dance academies can afford to employ
dance specialist physiotherapists like Heidi Neish-Welsh to help their dancers
stay in shape.
But many aspiring dancers dont have the medical
back up available to students at the big ballet schools.
School of Ballet insist that a dancers physical welfare is now taken much
But the world of ballet remains hugely competitive
and the pressure on dancers isnt just physical its mental too.
Today choreographers are asking more and more from the dancers
and it is up to the dance trainers and dance educators to train the dancers to
cope with that increasing range of challenge.
But whatever the levels
of support for dancers, ballet remains a profession where only the strong survive.
that jazz - David Redfern catalogues the jazz greats|
has long had associations with the world of jazz all the greats from Duke
Ellington to John Coltrane and Miles Davis have appeared in the capital's clubs.
man has snapped them all over the past 47 years.
With a click of the shutter
David Redfern has documented jazz history in the capital and indeed across the
The secret to Davids success is being in the right place at
the right time whether in the front of the stage or backstage.
Bose visited him at his gallery in Latimer Road to take a look at his life his
life behind the lens.
He also joins David on a photo shoot with rising star
Jamie Cullum at Ronnie Scotts legendary jazz club.