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Council goes green with biodiesel

Fill it up: Councillor Ben Smith pumps B20 Biodiesel fuel consisting of beef and mutton fat combined with soy beans and conventional diesel into one of the Council’s 100 vehicles.
Fill it up: Councillor Ben Smith pumps B20 Biodiesel fuel consisting of beef and mutton fat combined with soy beans and conventional diesel into one of the Council’s 100 vehicles. Doug Eaton

BEEF and mutton fat is helping to keep 100 of Ballina Shire Council’s diesel-fuelled vehicles on the road.

Combined with soy beans and conventional diesel, the by-products of Australia’s meat processing industry are used in a new fuel called B20.

Ballina is the first council in the Northern Rivers to use biodiesel in its fleet.

Mayor Phillip Silver said the council wanted to encourage the other councils to consider it.

“Then we would be able to get our own production plant on the Northern Rivers,” he said.

“If we had four or five councils involved, then we would have enough critical mass to make it viable.

“It would be great for jobs, great for farmers and great for the community.”

Cr Ben Smith is a strong supporter of the use of tallow in biodiesel.

“It delivers better outcomes for the environment and means we are using less finite resources,” he said.

“We first started talking about biodiesel in 2008, so it’s great to see that it’s finally happening.

“It will provide massive benefits.

“There are benefits in cutting particulate emissions, with no loss in engine power or fuel economy.

“It’s really exciting. Projects like this show that the council takes environmental issues seriously.”

B20 costs three or four cents more per litre than regular diesel, but Cr Silver said the environmental benefits would make the added cost worthwhile.

“Based on the council’s current use of diesel, we’ll cut more than 200 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.

“We’ve also insisted on using Australian sources for our biodiesel.”

The council’s fuel pumps and computerised fuel management system at the works depot were recently upgraded to accommodate the use of biodiesel.

Currently B20 is only being used in heavy plant and light commercial vehicles, but it could soon be used to fuel the Burns Point Ferry.

The ferry uses 70 litres of diesel fuel every day – a total of 25,000 litres a year.

 

B20 – THE FACTS

Biodiesel costs 3 to 4 cents a litre more than regular diesel.

It is made using 20 per cent beef and mutton fats and soy beans, combined with conventional diesel.

It will fuel 100 vehicles in the Ballina Shire Council fleet.

Using B20, the council will cut more than 200 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year. 



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