Views sought on low-carbon fuels for transport

Turning yoghurt pots into diesel and making jet fuel out of household waste are just two of the ideas in the spotlight as part of the government’s new ‘call for evidence’ on advanced fuels. Advanced fuels are low-carbon fuels produced using new technologies that can replace conventional fossil fuels. They are one of our best options for cutting carbon emissions from the transport sector.

Baroness Kramer said:

“Over a fifth of UK carbon emissions come from transport. That’s why it’s crucial we develop sustainable low-carbon fuels so that we can keep Britain moving while meeting our emissions targets.

“Britain has a wealth of expertise in this field and is home to many innovative companies like the one I’m visiting today. We are asking for evidence on what this high-tech sector can do to decarbonise transport and create new, green jobs.”

Transport Minister Susan Kramer marked the event today (12 December 2013) with a visit to Future Blends, an innovative start-up in Oxfordshire that is developing the technology to turn agricultural and forestry waste into transport fuel. The government is looking to hear the views of industry experts, environmental groups and other interested parties on the future of advanced fuels.

Future Blends was founded in 2012 by the Carbon Trust as part of its advanced biofuels programme called the “Pyrolysis Challenge”. The company is developing technologies to bring advanced fuels to local filling stations. Baroness Kramer took a tour of the laboratory and discussed the next steps for the company with CEO Nick Brooks.

The government is looking at whether such innovative processes can help reduce carbon emissions and support the growth of a high-tech, highly-skilled industry. These technologies could also help to reduce reliance on expensive energy imports.

Earlier this year the government announced a £25 million competition to develop a demonstration plant to produce advanced transport fuels. This document is looking for evidence on how to build on this competition and develop the sector further. It will seek views on what technologies are out there, what benefits they could bring and what role, if any, government should have in their development.

The document is a first stage consultation that will help shape future government policies.

Advanced fuels is a term used to describe a variety of carbon cutting fuels including the next generation of biofuels, hydrogen, synthetic fuels made in high-tech facilities and methane harvested from effluent and rotting food waste.