Govt to start collecting used oil, convert it into biodiesel
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.