London’s arteries are clogged with fat. The capital city spends more than a million dollars per month to clean out thousands of sewer and drain blockages caused by grease, oil and fat.
Now a new project starting up in the country is hoping to do some productive with all of that waste. Plans announced by Thames Water and utility company 2OC show that the waste fat will be channeled to help run a major sewage works and a desalination plant, as well as supplying electricity to the grid.
Thirty tons a day of waste will be collected from leftover cooking oil supplies at eateries and manufacturers, fat traps in kitchens and in the sewers. It will be sent to a plant that is due to open in 2015. Using the oil as fuel, the plant will produce 130 Gigawatt hours (GWh) a year of renewable electricity, or about the same amount energy needed to run 40,000 average-sized homes.
Piers Clark, commercial director for Thames Water, told the Guardian: “This project is a win-win: renewable power, hedged from the price fluctuations of the non-renewable mainstream power markets, and helping tackle the ongoing operational problem of ‘fatbergs’ in sewers.”