London plans to burn fat for energy
Fat burning is an activity that we usually hear whenever human physical fitness is involved. But instead of using energy to burn fat, have you ever heard of the idea of burning fat to produce energy? In the field of industrial energy, that is the case, as this report states about London’s latest “clean-up” energy plan.
Sewers of East London are now set to become a new energy “mining field” for an upcoming peculiar power station. The new power station will be using fat, specifically discarded fat from the city’s sewer systems, as a source of energy. It will be built in Beckton, and it is set to optimally produce at least 130 gigawatt-hours of electricity in a single year, an amount adequate enough to power almost 40,000 regular households. 2OC, a UK-based green utility company will be the one to oversee the development and operation of the power plant, which is slated to be completed in early 2015.
A little more than half of the fat power plant’s energy output (75 gigawatt-hours) will be allocated to power Beckton sewage works, while a smaller, unspecified share of the energy will be used power an emergency desalinization plant. The rest are then fed to the nation’s power grid. Half of the needed daily fuel will be supplied by private utility company Thames Water. Each day, they will be delivering 30 tons of fat oil and grease (which, according to the report, is enough to fill a six-meter shipping container) to provide a steady source of energy for the station.
Additionally, other than fats that are already in the sewers, the project also calls for a tighter plan to trap, intercept, and collect fat in the city’s kitchens before it can even make its way down the drain and into sewer systems. Waste vegetable and animal oil is also planned to be used as fuel, though virgin oil is out of the list.
It has been noted by the report that at least 80,000 blockages happen within the huge network of sewers in the country each year due discarded fats poured down drains among other things. With the power plant up and running in the near future, citizens of East London would now have another fossil-fuel free source of energy while having the other benefit of keeping London’s sewers clean from what would otherwise be a clog-producing “agent”. It is indeed the odorless and fumeless local solution that could decisively keep London’s sewers “physically fit”.
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