A new sustainable energy system that turns fat and oils in to energy has been awarded top prize at the Sustainable Energy Awards.
The Precision Group was awarded first prize at the awards for their conversion project which deals with waste water treatment.
The group has developed the waste to fuel service using genome technology, which deals with blockages caused by fat, oils and greases (FOG).
The research, carried out by Ulster’s Nanotechnology & Integrated BioEngineering Centre (NIBEC), scooped first prize in the ‘Energy & Environment Innovation’ category for its achievements in separating, collecting and processing waste water into a range of sustainable commercial products.
Environmentally and financially costly
FOG can cause environmental issues concerning drainage and sewage systems and its removal can be quite costly, according to NIBEC’s Dr Patrick Dunlop.
“The problem is that when FOG waste cools it congeals and sticks to the inner lining of pipes resulting in blockages. Clearing the blockages has a significant environmental and financial cost. Our research is focusing on more effective ways to remove FOG from drainage systems and the use of innovative clean technologies to convert FOG to biofuel,” said Dunlop.
The Precision Group research explored mechanisms for the conversion of FOG to biofuel using environmentally friendly and sustainable processes.
The technology is due for release in the European market in 2012.