Greenergy will, from today (May 6), start taking the oil from unsold pies, pasties, crisps and other food waste to use for biodiesel production.

The company announced it has begun producing biodiesel from food waste in a partnership with Brocklesby.

Investment of around £50 million has seen Greenergy’s biodiesel production facility in Immingham on the east coast of England updated to process used cooking oils, which are more complicated to deal with than oils like rapeseed.

To extend its use of waste-based biofuel even further the company is now making biodiesel from high fat solid foods such as pies, sausage rolls, pastries and crisps which are not fit for sale because they are mis-shapen, overcooked or past their sell by date.

These food products, which typically contain between 25% and 30% oil and fat, are sourced from a variety of food manufacturers nationally.

The oils and fats in these foods are extracted through a novel process developed by Brocklesby and are then further purified by Greenergy.

Only then are the oils and fats clean enough to be suitable for conversion into biodiesel.

Greenergy chief executive, Andrew Owens, said: “The quantities of biodiesel we’re currently producing from solid food waste are small, but we’re expecting to scale up so this soon becomes a significant proportion of our biodiesel.

“To put it into context, just one of these new facilities could handle enough waste pies or crisps to fill a cruise ship.

“With multiple plants, the potential for this kind of technology to reduce fuel emissions is considerable.”

Luke Walsh

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie