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Turning doughnut fat to biodiesel, just how are the Finnish doing it?

Posted on May 9, 2017 8:04:00 PM

Now the last time you were doughnuts.jpgindulging in a doughnut, did you stop to think about its potential to create a renewable fuel?

Probably not… But two firms have and it’s thanks to Neste and Fazer Bakery that biodiesel is being produced from doughnut fat. In fact, the amount of oil made from Finland's Fazer Bakery to fry three doughnuts is enough to drive a distance of about one kilometre. May Day is a natural time for cooperation between the two companies, since doughnuts are very popular in Finland at this time of year. As many as 16 million Fazer Omar and Berliinimunkki doughnuts are eaten annually which is estimated at around three doughnuts a year for each person in Finland. This Doughnut Trick initiative was organised to remind people in Finland about the potential of the circular economy and recycling.

"In our opinion, this is a great way of introducing people concretely to the circular economy."

Environmental questions are generating more and more discussion and debate, and the circular economy has become a major global trend. Rotary economics is important to Neste ( @nestecorp ) and Fazer Bakery alike. The two companies aim at utilising resources and exploring innovative ways to recycle and reuse materials ever more efficiently.

With many new uses for waste and residues, the two companies wanted to remind doughnut makers that there are sustainable ways to dispose waste frying oil.

"We were immediately inspired by the cooperation idea, as Fazer Bakery's primary goal is to prevent the generation of waste and to reduce its volume," says Nina Elomaa, Director, Corporate Responsibility at Fazer Group. "In our opinion, this is a great way of introducing people concretely to the circular economy, and at the same time to support a good cause," Elomaa continues.

Normally Fazer's frying fats are reused as a raw material by the asphalt and soap industries. For its part, Neste already recycles all the fat that is used in the meat industry and other industries in Finland to make renewable diesel. Motorists in Finland can buy Neste MY renewable diesel, which is made 100 percent from waste and residues, from several gas stations in the capital region. There is also one station in Turku selling it, and one in Tampere. Neste MY renewable diesel can help its users reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90% over the lifecycle of the fuel compared to conventional fossil diesel.

The right destination for domestic waste fat is compost or mixed waste - under no circumstances should it be poured down the drain. A small amount of fat can be absorbed directly into biowaste, but larger amounts should be put into mixed waste. In the latter case, it's a good idea to dispose of the cooking oil in the bottle it came in, for instance.

Last Christmas, Neste jointly cooperated with the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland and other partners in its Christmas waste ham fat campaign. The campaign involved collecting ham roast fats for recycling into fuel, and was a big success. The proceeds from the fuel were donated to charity. The May Day Doughnut Trick continues these charitable efforts in the spirit of the circular economy, this time with doughnut oil fat.


For more quirky stories like this:

Could milk protein be the solution to our plastic packaging crisis?

How are researchers using silk to create large scale biotechnology solutions?

How could renewable car tyres be made from grass clippings in your back garden?

The latest sustainable packaging solution? Shopping bags made from prawns.

Could laser labelling be coming to a supermarket near you?

Topics: bbwnfuels

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About the Author

Emily O'Dowd
Emily O'Dowd
On graduating with a degree in English Literature at Royal Holloway University of London, Emily joined the editorial team. When she isn't writing articles for the website or interviewing experts in th...read more