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Waste-to-fuel opportunities for British quick service restaurants: A case study

Velazquez Abad, A; Cherrett, T; Holdsworth, P; (2015) Waste-to-fuel opportunities for British quick service restaurants: A case study. Resources, Conservation and Recycling , 104 (Part A) pp. 239-253. 10.1016/j.resconrec.2015.08.004. Green open access

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The fast food supply chain is facing increasing operating costs due to volatile food and energy prices. Based on a case study of a major fast food logistics operator, this paper quantifies the potential for fuel generation from the waste generated by quick-service restaurants in Britain. Several fuel pathways and supply chains were mapped to understand the carbon intensity of the various waste-to-fuel opportunities, the number of heavy goods vehicles that might be powered and the key factors that could help companies make better informed decisions related to fuel generation from waste. The research suggested that depending on the scenarios considered, between 13.9 and 17.2 million GJ of energy could be obtained from fuels made from the waste arisings of British quick service restaurants and their distribution centres (DCs), representing between 4.4 and 5.8% of the national energy consumption from heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and well-to-wheel (WTW) greenhouse gases (GHG) savings of between 652 and 898 thousand tonnes of CO2 equivalent annually. Used cooking oil and burger fat arising from British quick-service restaurants could generate enough energy to power up to 3891 HGVs with FAME diesel (B100), 1622 with HVO diesel (B100) or 1943 with biomethane annually. The paper and card generated by these same establishments could also power an additional 4623 biomethane vehicles, wood pallets could power an additional 73 bioethanol trucks and plastics could also power 341 vehicles running with synthetic diesel. The results showed that collections of separate waste fractions by logistics operators could make a relevant contribution towards the decarbonisation of the supply chain while reducing disposal fees and fuel costs. The carbon emissions resulting from this approach depend greatly on the footprint of the collection and transportation systems used to move waste from the restaurants to the processing plants and return the converted fuel back to the distribution centres where the vehicles are refuelled. Logistics firms are in a privileged position to manage these flows as they can use empty back-haul trips to collect and consolidate waste in distribution centres.

Type: Article
Title: Waste-to-fuel opportunities for British quick service restaurants: A case study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2015.08.004
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2015.08.004
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. This manuscript version is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Non-derivative 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This license allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work for personal and non-commercial use providing author and publisher attribution is clearly stated. Further details about CC BY licenses are available at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/. Access may be initially restricted by the publisher.
Keywords: Biomass; Fuel; Energy; GHG; Restaurant; Waste
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1543176
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