Stonehealth promote switch to eco-friendly fuel

Brian Crowe and Angela Southern of Stonehealth with the Doff III

Conservation and restoration specialist Stonehealth has announced the conversion of its iconic machinery to be able to run on biodiesel.

All future machines sold by the Gloucestershire company will be able to run on the eco-friendly fuel, while the machines in use around the UK and globally are now able to be retrofitted.

The move comes in response to requests from contractors, partly in anticipation of an industry move towards cleaner fuels given that restoration projects are often undertaken in urban environments where air quality is paramount.

Brian Crowe, founder of Stonehealth which recently launched the Doff III – the latest iteration of the superheated water cleaning system – said tests had shown biodiesel was working equally well, with improved cleanliness and no impact on core operation temperatures.

He cited US Department of Energy figures which show an 86 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases (GHGs) when using biofuel, but confirmed that the machines would still run on diesel or kerosene where price was a key factor.

“Biodiesel is slightly more expensive than normal diesel,” he said, “but the ecological benefits are clear and we know that end clients are starting to factor emissions into project awards for our contractors.

“For example one of our contractors in the Netherlands is aiming to win a contract with the Dutch government, which has stipulated that diesel is not permitted on the project in question.

“Other contractors in the UK are also finding that promoting the eco-benefits of their solution is a factor in winning work with public and private organisations.

“This is particularly relevant in urban environments where air quality is a significant issue and where pollution causes damage to heritage buildings.

“So we know this move is happening across the industry. We wanted to get ahead of the curve and pre-empt the demand becoming more commonplace.”

Research and development for the biodiesel conversions have been undertaken by the engineering team at Stonehealth, which is based in in Cam, near Dursley.

Brian confirmed that tests had shown all existing iterations of Stonehealth machinery – three models of the Doff machine, as well as the Torc cleaning system – could be converted to run on biodiesel.

“Our team are able to retrofit older models if necessary,” he commented. “We’ve done the tests and the machines work really well on this fuel.

“So we’re excited to offer this new development as our company continues to lead the way in the careful restoration of our nation’s heritage buildings.”

In January, Stonehealth announced the launch of the new Doff III machine - a new and improved, even safer and more sustainable version model of the machine used by architects, specifiers and cleaning industry professionals in the UK and worldwide.

At the same time the company has appointed Angela Southern as business development director, as the company seeks to enhance its reputation and explore new markets.