Used cooking oil (UCO) is a problematic waste to get rid of. Its inadequate disposal can result in harmful environmental effects: it hinders sewage treatment, it is highly toxic for natural ecosystems and, at domestic level, it can block pipes and cause odors.

One interesting option for UCO management is its energy valorization. Through a simple chemical process UCO can be converted into biodiesel, an alternative fuel similar to diesel but with several advantages: it is a much better lubricant than diesel, extending the engine’s life, it’s highly biodegradable and it provides significant reductions in CO2 emissions.

Biodiesel produced from UCO is also avoiding possible impacts of biofuels production on agricultural food products (helping to fulfill the sustainability criteria for biofuels set in the Renewable Energy Directive) and preventing UCO deposition in landfills. Moreover, it has the lowest greenhouse gas emissions amongst biofuels, enabling larger emission savings in comparison with petroleum derivate fuels. Thus, the recycling of UCO can contribute to achieve the target set forward by the EU to reduce its CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020.




Nevertheless, the lack of awareness and information among citizens and the technical and legislative barriers for UCO collection lead most part of consumers to pour it directly to the sink. Not surprisingly, it’s estimated that over 60% of used cooking oil is improperly disposed of. The domestic sector, to which there are no wide spread collection systems, is the main source of UCO in some EU countries.