Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
You may need a pollution prevention and control permit or waste management licence if you produce your own biodiesel. See the page in this guideline: Do you need a permit or licence to produce biofuel?
There are two ways of producing biodiesel using waste or virgin vegetable oil:
When producing biodiesel you will use potentially hazardous chemicals such as methanol, an organic solvent. Organic solvents are a type of volatile organic compound, which can cause significant air and water pollution and land contamination.
You must not release methanol into the environment. If substantial quantities of methanol are released you should report the pollution incident as soon as it happens to the UK wide Pollution Hotline on Tel 0800 80 70 60.
If you make biodiesel for your own personal use you should follow the advice from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).
If you manufacture biodiesel you will produce glycerol as a by-product.
Contact your environmental regulator to find out if the glycerol you produce is classed as waste.
If the glycerol you produce is waste, you must only send it to a Waste Incineration Directive (WID) compliant plant to be burned. See our guideline: Waste incineration
If you dispose of glycerol then you must also follow your duty of care for waste. See our guides:
The Environment Agency, the NIEA and the Waste and Resources Action Programme have created a quality protocol for biodiesel produced from waste cooking oil and rendered animal fats. If you follow the protocol you can produce a high-quality biodiesel which you can sell without following waste management controls. For example, if it is not classed as a waste, you do not need to transport it using a waste carrier or with a waste transfer note, making it easier to sell your biodiesel.
You must meet quality standards to sell your fuel in countries within the European Union. These standards apply to biofuel and blends containing biofuel. For example, the standard EN14214 specifies the requirements and test methods for biodiesel produced for use in diesel engines.
The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) promotes standards for the safety of workers and consumers and to protect the environment.
Producing your own biodiesel
Guidance - Noise and vibration management: environmental permits, Guidance - Noise and vibration management: environmental permits
Environmental Plans, Principles and Governance for Northern Ireland – Synopsis of Responses, Public responses to the Discussion Document: Environmental Plans, Principles and Governance
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