Construction News

Thu September 23 2021

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Milbank adopts biodiesel

3 Aug Milbank Concrete Products is adopting vegetable oil as its engine fuel of choice and encouraging other precast manufacturers to consider making the switch too.

The Colchester-based precast concrete firm is using hydro-treated vegetable oil (HVO) as a more environmentally friendly fuel alternative to regular diesel.

With immediate effect, 100% of its production machinery, including fork trucks, loading shovels, shunters, dumpers, cherry pickers and prestressed concrete manufacturing machines, will transition from the use of regular diesel to HVO.

“It’s no secret that the manufacture of precast concrete is notoriously detrimental to the environment and plays a key role in the production of harmful CO2 emissions produced by the construction industry,” said the company. “After coal-powered electricity, use of cement is the next biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, accounting for approximately 5% of annual anthropogenic global CO2 production, with one-tonne of CO2 produced for every tonne of cement. Immediate action is required to improve sustainability, reduce carbon emissions and work towards a greener future – and it’s not as difficult as you might think.”

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Milbank Concrete Products had already introduced a wood-pellet-fuelled biomass boiler and electric vehicle charging points, with the next part of its future sustainability strategy focussed on the reduction of diesel use within their site operations.

The company said that, following extensive trials, it was noted that by adopting 100% HVO, greenhouse gas emissions produced by their machinery reduced by up to 90%, with a 35% reduction in particulate mass and a 30% reduction of CO2 company wide. “This was most noticeable by those working the machines who noted a clear improvement in the exhaust fumes,” it said. Currently, 75,000 litres of diesel are used every year by the firm at its manufacturing facilities, all of which to be substituted for the green biofuel alternative.

Chairman Sean Milbank said: “We believe that as custodians of this type of business, we have a responsibility and duty to invest in technologies and processes to reduce our impact on the environment and hopefully encourage our customers, suppliers and competitors to follow suit.”
HVO meets EN 15940 standards and the Fuel Quality Directive 2009/30/EC Annex II, so can be used as a direct, drop-in alternative to mineral diesel.  

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