Soon, your car will run on used cooking oil | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Soon, your car will run on used cooking oil

Used cooking oil may fuel your car soon. The government has taken a clue from United States and Europe, where 75 % of used cooking oil is recycled to produce bio-diesel, and decided to have a similar frame-work for Indian eateries. Chetan Chauhan reports.

delhi Updated: Mar 11, 2013 00:47 IST
Chetan Chauhan

Used cooking oil may fuel your car soon.

The government has taken a clue from United States and Europe, where 75 % of used cooking oil is recycled to produce bio-diesel, and decided to have a similar frame-work for Indian eateries.

As the first step in this direction, the ministry of new and renewable energy has asked the National Food Safety and Standard Authority (NFSSA) to prescribe standards and regulations for use of cooking oils.

India does not have any standard prescribing till when the cooking oil can be reused. It, thereby, prevents government agencies from taking penal action against eateries reusing bad quality cooking oil, which can be harmful for one’s health.

“Food cooked in oil reused has adverse impact on one’s health,” a senior government official said. But, the same oil can becoming environment friendly if re-processed and converted into bio-diesel. “Around 28 % of the European logistics trucks run on biodiesel,” the official said.

India can do the same provided the government sets up a mechanism for collecting the used cooking oil and refineries for converting it into bio-diesel. “Work has already started on achieving this ambitious target,” the official said.

The ministry has asked Punjab based Sardar Swaran Singh National Institute of Renewable Energy to develop a system for converting used cooking oil into bio-diesel and then test it on vehicles on experimental basis. The data collected would be employed for developing a long-term national policy, the official said.

The National Biofuels Policy has envisaged a target of 20% blending of petrol and diesel with ethanol and biodiesel by 2017 from the present 5% level. Achieving the target will not be easy considering constraints on availability of basic raw material.

Around five million kilo litres of vegetable oil will be required to produce adequate biodiesel. That would be difficult unless the government decides to divert some of the edible oil seeds for biodiesel. It will not be feasible considering its political implications. As an alternative, the government sees an opportunity is used cooking oil and wants to kick-start pilots in this regard.

Once the authority comes out with the standards, the government will start pilots in select cities to collect used cooking oil from large hotels and food industry for production of bio-diesel.

If the pilots work, the government believes more than a million kilo-litres of bio-diesel can be produced from used cooking oils. “Biodiesel has been produced from used common edible oils such as rice bran, soya bean, palm and sunflower oil,” the official said.