Govt to start col­lect­ing used oil, con­vert it into biodiesel

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY - [email protected]­

Mum­bai: We all know that the ven­dor across the street fries those de­li­cious vadas in used cook­ing oil, but we choose to turn a blind eye. Tak­ing note of how dis­as­trous this oil can be for health, the Union pe­tro­leum min­istry has de­cided to en­cour­age conversion of Used Cook­ing Oil to biodiesel and tied up with a pri­vate firm, Muen­zer Bharat. A pilot plant for the conversion has been set up in Nerul MIDC and Union pe­tro­leum min­is­ter Dhar­men­dra Prad­han will launch the project this week.

The firm will tar­get restau­rants, starred ho­tels and bulk sell­ers of vada­pav and chips in Mum­bai, Navi Mum­bai and Thane in the first phase and pro­vide drums to col­lect the used oil waste daily. It will pre­vent the re-en­try of used oil in the food chain and also stop its dump­ing in rivers and sew­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to San­jay Shri­vas­taava, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Muen­zer Bharat, the biodiesel man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity has been set up un­der the ‘Na­tional Used Cook­ing Oil Col­lec­tion Mis­sion for In­dia’. It will con­vert the used oil into 100% wa­ter-based biodiesel—which can be used for gensets or blended with diesel to make it en­vi­ron­ment-friendly. “We plan to set up sim­i­lar plants across the coun­try in near fu­ture,” he said.

Bad qual­ity cook­ing oil is one of the main causes for car­diac in­farc­tion—a lead­ing cause of deaths in In­dia, a source said.

“We will stop dis­posal of UCO in rivers or drainage sys­tem which choke due to the grease,” said a Muen­zer of­fi­cial. Dump­ing of oil in rivers dam­ages the aquatic ecosys­tem.

So how does the re­cy­cling work? “We will loan our cus­tomers con­tain­ers that suit their needs for col­lect­ing used oil. Our lo­gis­tics ser­vice will re­place con­tain­ers with clean, empty ones in ne­go­ti­ated reg­u­lar in­ter­vals. The waste al­lows us to pro­duce sus­tain­able biodiesel for In­dia,” the of­fi­cial said.

Ev­ery kitchen gen­er­ates a dif­fer­ent quan­tity of UCO per week. “One size does not fit all, which is why we will of­fer con­tain­ers in mul­ti­ple sizes. They will be trans­par­ent con­tain­ers to ver­ify that your used oil is not ex­ces­sively con­tam­i­nated by wa­ter, food waste or de­bris,” the of­fi­cial added.

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