Cleaning up our act

20 December 2007
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Cleaning up our Act -nothing to do with horses. Simple System Ltd has always had a bit of a green lean company and has long sought a source of bio-diesel. Well now we have found it! This is not the much publicised bio-diesel which is petroleum diesel with 5% or10% bio-diesel added, but real deal 100% bio-diesel. The source we have located uses both virgin vegetable oils and recycled chip oil. We are now in the middle of our changeover having converted 1 forklift and 3 vans. The conversion of the vehicles is a small amount of extra work and cost as it is necessary to change fuel filters fairly regularly for the first few weeks due to the detergent effect of the bio-diesel. “So what”, you might ask. “Why bother?” Bio-diesel makes a real contribution towards closing of the carbon cycle, with a positive energy balance, producing 3.2 units of energy for every unit of energy used in production. In contrast, petroleum diesel fuel produces 0.89 units of energy for every unit of energy used in production. However of even more immediate importance is the massive reduction in levels of harmful pollutants. This is a major benefit to the general environment, but more particularly to the health of our staff. Here are some of the reasons we have taken the trouble: Total unburned Hydrocarbons reduced by 67% Carbon Monoxide reduced by 48% Particulate matter reduced by 47% Sulphates reduced by 100% *Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons reduced by 80% *Nitrated Poly aromatic Hydrocarbons reduced by 90% Ozone (smog) forming potential reduced by 50% *These bi-products of diesel combustion are potentially cancer forming compounds and thus their major reduction could make a real impact on improvements to health and safety. Bio-diesel is a safe product to handle of very low toxicity and also makes a major contribution to reduced engine wear due to its high lubrication value. Why am I telling you all this when there is very little to go round? Finally a confession. We were not the first in the Simple System Ltd family to convert. Simple System (South-West) Ltd. were way ahead of us by 6 months and I have to say I was very pleased to be able to view them as our guinea-pigs. Thank you John and Jayne.

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