Where do those raw materials come from?
Ecoson obtains raw materials from selected third party organic waste sources.
Why was Ecoson built?
In the livestock farming sector and the meat processing industry, a flow of by-products is created. At Darling Ingredients, we convert these by-products in various ways into high-value solutions. One of our methods is the manufacture of biofuels. This repurposing process enables us to increase the value of certain slaughter by-products while conducting business in a sustainable way. The global demand for sustainable energy is increasing and Ecoson is responding to that demand, demonstrating the sustainable entrepreneurship we believe in.
By gearing our production process towards second-generation biofuels, we avoid placing the additional burden on the environment that first-generation biofuels (made from vegetable raw materials) do. Our philosophy enables us to operate in alignment with the Dutch government's ‘clean and economical’ scheme, which aims at producing at least 20% of energy in a sustainable manner by 2020.
How green is Ecoson?
Very green. Ecoson’s production process is based on raw materials that belong to the second generation of biofuels. This means our raw materials have not been produced specifically for energy production; they are a by-product or residual flow from an existing industry. The production, processing and combustion of Ecoson fuels is demonstrably less damaging to the environment than that of mineral fuels (approximately 81%).
What is the difference between first- and second-generation biofuels?
First-generation biofuels are obtained from food crops, such as sugar cane, beets, corn, rapeseed and soy. Second-generation biofuels are sourced from by-products. Biofuels (and biogas) of this kind have important advantages over first-generation biofuels. Their production is considerably cheaper, since the raw material is a by-product. A lot less energy is needed, as there are no crops to be cultivated. This means second-generation biofuels have no adverse effects on food and water supplies.
How does the environment benefit from Ecoson?
The CO2 emissions resulting from the production of one ton of biodiesel from animal fat are about 75% less than the emissions resulting from rapeseed oil diesel production, and around 40% less than the emissions resulting from palm oil diesel production. The land needed for the production of one ton of biodiesel from animal fat is 93% less than that needed for the same amount of rapeseed oil diesel and 70% less than that required for the same amount of palm oil diesel. Depending on how the fuels are used (for example in CHPs, or in transport), the annual production of refined fats by Ecoson achieves a reduction in CO2 emissions of more than 100,000 tons.