Fatbergs Should be Dragged Out of Sewers and Used as Biofuel

By Gary Cutlack on at

A seemingly boring report on the future of the creation and use of biofuels in the UK exploded into life with one bizarre suggestion; that we dredge up "fatbergs" from the sewers of the nation and convert their pale and congealed bodies into usable biofuel.

This isn't some piece of deranged sci-fi, as it's a serious idea from the Royal Academy of Engineering. Its paper on biofuels [PDF] makes a raft of serious suggestions on how to make more of them and better use of current production space, like using more marginal ground to grow biofuel crops and concentrating on waste products and chip fat; but it's the suggestion of subsidies for encouraging the use of "sewage grease" that's the most evocative.

Apparently there's already a fatberg purification plant in action in the UK courtesy of Ardent Energy, which has the capacity to distill and purify sustainable diesel from the "fatty effluents" sludged out of the sewers. We should do more of this, say the engineers, so there's a nice career for the kids to get into. [The Times]

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