Biodiesel from used cooking oil
In a bid to encourage the biofuel sector, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan announced that the state-run oil marketing companies would procure the entire supply of biodiesel produced from used cooking oil for a three-year period.
Details of the scheme
The move, announced on World Biofuel Day, means that biodiesel plants using used cooking oil as their raw material will be assured that their entire production will be procured by the oil marketing companies to be blended with normal diesel. The scheme is being launched in 100 cities across the country.
Under the scheme, the OMCs — Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum — will pay biodiesel producers ₹51 per litre in the first year, ₹52.7 per litre in the second, and ₹54.5 per litre in the third year. The oil companies will also bear the cost of transportation and GST for the first year.
Facilitate collection of used cooking oil
The Minister’s announcement comes just a day after the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI) has directed Food Safety Commissioners to ensure that Food Business Operators (FBOs), whose consumption of edible oils for frying is more than 50 litres per day, stop reusing the oil more than three times.
Mr. Pradhan also launched a ‘Repurpose Used Cooking Oil (RUCO)’ sticker and a phone app to enable the collection of used cooking oil. Restaurants and hotels interested in supplying used cooking oil can affix the sticker to show availability.
Steps to promote alternate sources of energy
- The government is promoting the alternate sources of energy by adopting four-pronged strategy such as promoting ethanol, second-generation ethanol, compressed biogas and biodiesel.
- “Ethanol blending in petrol has gone up from 1.5% to about 8% and is likely to touch 10% soon,” Mr Pradhan said. “The government is planning to allow production of ethanol from surplus foodgrains which now sometimes go waste and also entail expenditure on storage.”
- “Biodiesel is low hanging fruit in the scheme of alternate source of energies, and abundant raw material is available for the purpose,” the Minister added. “It is a good waste-to-wealth concept.”
- The National Policy on Biofuels 2018, released by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has set a blending target of 20% for ethanol in petrol and of 5% for biodiesel blending in diesel by 2030.
Reuse of cooking oil restricted
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI) has directed Food Safety Commissioners to ensure that Food Business Operators (FBOs), whose consumption of edible oils for frying is more than 50 litres per day, stop reusing the oil more than three times.
The order says all FBOs should compulsorily dispose off their used cooking oil to authorised collection agencies or aggregators and lists eight biodiesel manufacturers enrolled with agency so far.
When used multiple times, cooking oil becomes acidic and darkens in colour. This may alter the fatty acid composition of the oil. FSSAI will also ask cooking oil manufacturers to come out with colour charts (either on the product or in a booklet along with the product) that will help people to identify if the oil is fresh or re-used.
State wise initiative
Although Karnataka is the first State to have a Bio Energy Development Board and used cooking oil is being collected from big chain of restaurants by biodiesel manufacturing units, the main issue is regarding the registration of such units and empanellment of re-purposed used cooking oil (RUCO) collecting aggregators. Without empanellment, many aggregators are finding it difficult to collect used cooking oil from hotel chains. These challenges were discussed at a meeting of top officials from FSSAI in Bengaluru on March 1. Similar concerns were raised by other States. Following this, FSSAI issued an Order on May 6 requiring bio diesel manufacturers to enrol with FSSAI for collection of used cooking oil from FBOs.