THE future of sustainable fuel production could be in a shed at Bouley Bay.
It is there that Basil Jeanne, Nick Glover and their small team at MB Fuel are helping to pioneer the local production of biofuel.
They collect old cooking oil from deep-fat fryers across the Island and turn it into stuff you can run your truck on.
Waste collection is Basil Jeanne’s stock-in-trade, so it seems just right that he has decided to focus on converting discarded cooking oil into a substitute for diesel.
It is the future, he believes, and he is set to increase his production and increase his client list,
‘Originally, when we set out we were just filtering the cooking oil through a process and running our trucks on it as a blend of cooking oil and diesel,’ he explained. ‘We have now moved to a much more complicated refining process. The product is now so good that you can run a vehicle on 100 per cent biofuel if you want.
‘At the moment we are probably running our trucks on around 75 to 80 per cent biofuel and 25 per cent diesel. We are moving towards 100 per cent in stages and making sure everything has been checked.’
Mr Jeanne, who owns and runs both Environment Services and Germbusters Ltd, currently runs 12 vehicles on the biofuel blend, including dustcarts and pick-ups. He also supplies his fuel to Minibus Direct.
Last year, he used around 18,000 litres of the product in his trucks. Mr Jeanne explains that one of the advantages of the new fuel is that no modification is needed to the engine. The older, less refined blend required a simple heat exchanger to be fitted.
The business is being spearheaded by Mr Glover, who has been honing his skills as a biofuel producer for several years. He is now working for Mr Jeanne and they are looking to expand production.
It is Mr Glover’s job to collect the cooking oil from local kitchens and takeaways and oversee its transformation into a green fuel. They get their raw material for nothing as it would otherwise cost the taxpayer to dispose of it off the Island.
‘The intention is to expand the business now that we are refining the cooking oil,’ said Mr Jeanne. ‘It is early days for us, but it is one of those things that I believe we will be seeing a lot more of in the future.’
The great advantage of using cooking oil is the savings you can achieve compared with paying for conventional fuel at the pumps.
So who can use the biofuel? Mr Jeanne explains that it is fine for trucks, but adds that at the moment some vehicle manufacturers are a little cautious because it is new.
There is now a law saying that only a certain type of diesel vehicle can use the biofuel, so any such vehicle could use it. However, Mr Jeanne advises that owners check with manufacturers to get advice about biofuel use.
He points out, however, that an EU directive means that all diesel fuel used in the Island must be five per cent biofuel anyway.
Mr Jeanne is keeping the price of his fuel under wraps for now, but invites anyone who wants to know more to call him on 869913.