‘Rev­o­lu­tion­ary’ fuel pro­ject in Bar­cal­dine

The Oban Times - - News - LOUISE GLEN lglen@oban­times.co.uk

FUEL will be cheaper and made as close to home as pos­si­ble is the claim of a com­pany from Bar­cal­dine.

Their bio fuel is made from sea­weed or grass and they be­lieve it will be­come the way in which com­mu­ni­ties can make and sell their own fuel - and per­haps make a bot­tle or two of gin at the same time.

The Sus­tain­able Pro­ject Part­ners (SPP) may seem like a pie in the sky pro­ject but, af­ter work­ing on it for many years, the team be­hind it say ‘it is real and it will rev­o­lu­tionise the ru­ral and is­land com­mu­ni­ties’ as soon as the start of 2016 when the com­pany be­gins to process up to 4,000 litres of fuel. The pro­cess­ing unit - that will be de­liv­ered later this month from man­u­fac­tur­ers in Aus­tralia - looks not dis­sim­i­lar to a whisky still.

Com­pany CEO, Dr Bob Irv­ing, has been de­vel­op­ing

the pro­ject for many years and chose Bar­cal­dine, near Oban, to de­velop the pro­ject due to fund­ing from both the Scot­tish and UK gov­ern­ments.

Bob ex­plains; ‘Our

fu­els are fully sus­tain­able. We turn or­ganic waste like sea­weed and grass and we take it through pro­cesses then con­vert it to ethanol. The aim is to make ethanol and blend it into petrol at a ra­tio of 97:3 and into a fuel in its own right.’

Bob’s back­ground was in phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and the commercialisation of prod­ucts. He has worked in both Canada and Aus­tralia be­fore re­turn­ing to the UK where he started.

Com­ing to work in Bar­cal­dine made per­fect sense to Bob.

‘We are up at the Marine Re­source Cen­tre in Bar­cal­dine. It is, of course, where sim­i­lar busi­nesses have been based in the past - the Al­genate fac­tory was there,’ he said,

The bio fuel will be­come the way in which com­mu­ni­ties make and sell their own fuel - and make a bot­tle of gin as well at the same time.

Bob added: ‘It is not just ethanol that can be pro­duced at dif­fer­ent stages of dis­til­la­tion. We can also look at med­i­cal prod­ucts for anti-bac­te­rial use and food ad­di­tives.

‘It will also pro­duce gin. We want to talk to peo­ple who are in­ter­ested in grow­ing the sea­weed and har­vest­ing it. This will be a sus­tain­able fuel.’

The kits to grow the sea­weed and the stills will be man­u­fac­tured and made avail­able to com­mu­ni­ties in or­der for them to set up a busi­ness or a com­mu­nity- owned busi­ness.

Bob can be con­tacted at bo­birv­ing@ spp­bioen­ergy. com

This will be a sus­tain­able fuel . . . it will also pro­duce gin

Bob Irv­ing

(Pic­tured)

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