World Biofuel Day is observed every year on 10th of August to create awareness about the importance of non-fossil fuels as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels and highlight the various efforts made by Government in the biofuel sector.
Biofuels have the benefits of reduction of import dependence, cleaner environment, additional income to farmers and employment generation. This year the theme of the World Biofuel Day is “Production of Biodiesel from Used Cooking Oil (UCO)”.
In India, the same cooking oil is used for repeated frying which adversely affects the health due to formation of polar compounds during frying. These polar compounds are associated with diseases such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, liver diseases among others. UCO is either not discarded at all or disposed off in an environmentally hazardous manner choking drains and sewerage systems.
The National Policy on Biofuels, released by the Government of India in 2018, envisages production of biofuel from Used Cooking Oil.
The National Policy on Biofuels, released by the Government of India in 2018, envisages production of biofuel from UCO. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is implementing a strategy to divert UCO from the food value chain and curb current illegal usage. The benefits of transformation of UCO will help bring health benefits as there would be no recycling of the UCO, employment generation, infrastructural investment in rural areas & cleaner environment with reduced carbon footprint.
Oil Marketing Companies to procure UCO
The National Policy on Biofuels – 2018 envisages a target of 5% blending of Biodiesel in HSD by 2030. In order to achieve the blending target, 500 crore litres of Biodiesel is required in a year. In India, approximately, 22.7 MMTPA (2700 crore litres) of Cooking Oil is used out of which 1.2 MMTPA (140 Crore) UCO can be collected from Bulk Consumers such as hotels, restaurants, canteens, etc. for conversion, which will give approximately 110 crore litres of Biodiesel in one year. Presently there is no established collection chain for UCO. Thus, there is a huge opportunity in production of biodiesel from UCO.
Presently there is no established collection chain for UCO. Thus, there is a huge opportunity in production of biodiesel from UCO.
To facilitate the production of Biodiesel from UCO, the Oil Marketing Companies shall float an Expression of Interest (EOI) for procurement of Biodiesel from Used Cooking Oil across 100 cities. The purpose of inviting this EOI is to encourage the applicants to set up Biodiesel producing plants from Used Cooking Oil (UCO), processing plants and further utilizing the existing potential of UCO based Bio-diesel in India. For this, a sticker on RUCO viz., Repurpose Used Cooking Oil and a mobile app to facilitate the collection of UCO has been released by FSSAI on Biofuels Day.
FSSAI has launched a micro-site to monitor the progress of the collection and conversion of UCO to biodiesel last year (2018). Sixty-Four companies have been identified thus far at 101 locations across the length and breadth of the nation to enable collection of UCO. McDonald’s is already converting its used cooking oil to biodiesel from 100 outlets in Mumbai and Pune as of today. Bangalore based ECO Green Fuels is also currently converting approximately 1200 Tons of UCO to biodiesel annually.
With inputs from PIB and FSSAI