D1 Oils Claims Major Breakthrough on Fuel
Byline: By Howard Walker
Alternative fuel producer D1 Oils has claimed a major breakthrough in its bid to become a global producer of environmentally-friendly biodiesel.
The company, now based in Middlesbrough, says it has successfully made its first fuel from jatropha oil using its D1 20 refinery.
D1 has been working for the past five years to create a global network of jatropha plantations and refineries to make biodiesel ( a blend of conventional diesel and vegetable oil said to cut carbon emissions by up to 80%.
While its technology has made fuel using rapeseed, soy and palm oil, the 20 tonnes of biodiesel made at its testing site in Lancashire is the first batch to successfully use oil from the jatropha curcas tree, D1's proposed main feedstock.
Chairman Karl Watkin said: "This is a huge step for the company. We have taken a tree which we identified as a feedstock five years ago and used it to grow and convert into biodiesel.
"Everyone said we had no chance, but we have done it.
"It's a great result ( the team have done a fantastic job."
Jatropha curcas grows naturally in Africa, South East Asia and India and its seeds are used to produce vegetable oil which has previously been used to make candles and soap.
It is a high-yielding plant ( the trees can produce up to 1,600 litres of oil per hectare ( which can be grown on non-arable land and irrigated using waste water, making it ideal to be grown in the developing world. …