Recycled cooking oil, commonly known as "gutter oil", has been used in private vehicles in Shanghai for the first time in the country, as part of efforts to promote environmental sustainability and deter futher use in kitchens.
Since the beginning of this month, more than 100 logistics trucks of Swedish furniture maker IKEA have been running on fuel composed of biodiesel derived from cooking oil. The amount of gutter oil the fuel contains varies from 5% to 10%.
The biodiesel project was operated by Shanghai Zhongqi Environment Technology Co, one of Shanghai's two licensed gutter oil processing companies, partnered with IKEA and Shanghai Bus Logistics Ltd. The newly amended Shanghai Food Safety Regulations, which will be unveiled next year, will further support the recycling of oil through local legislation. Enterprises using biodiesel will receive subsidies.
"Currently, the trucks can only fill up on site at their company. In the future, more specialized stations, like the ones for traditional gasoline, will be built to facilitate the usage of biofuel," said the head of technology at Zhongqi Environment Technology.
For years, the authorities have focused on converting waste oil. Using cooking oil-derived biofuel cuts carbon dioxide emissions and is a productive way to clamp down on the illegal gutter oil trade.
Biofuel has been used to power airplanes and buses in China. In Shanghai, more than 100 buses on 10 routes have used biodiesel since early last year.