Soon, you may be able to use your edible oil as a substitute of conventional fuel to run cars. This can become a reality after a successful test of using biofuel in airplane.

Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun is now working to convert used cooking oil into biofuel which would then be used to power automobiles and planes.

With India taking the leadership role to drive the International Solar Aliance after the Paris climate agreement, its massive consumption of cooking oil can put India at the vanguard of research focusing on conversion of cooking oil into biofuel.

As a matter of fact, international fast food chain McDonald’s has already started using biofuel from used cooking oil to power its fleet of refrigerated delivery trucks in 85 of its outlets across Mumbai and will soon multiply it to 275-plus outlets in southern and western regions.

As per reports, the move has helped the fast food giant in converting 35,000 litres of used cooking oil into biodiesel resulting in saving around 420,000 litres of crude oil annually.

Recently, food regulator FSSAI had also directed eateries not to reuse cooking oil and instead pass it to biofuel developers.

Globally, commercial use of biofuel has still not taken off in a big way as it is unsustainable to produce it on an industrial scale. But, low cost of feed stock and used cooking oil in India can make bio-jet fuel quite competitive.

According to some estimates, out of nearly 23 million tonne (MT) cooking oil consumed in India, 3 MT can be used for the production of biofuel.

Biofuel, manufactured from vegetable oils, recycled grease, algae, and animal fat can be used as an alternative in place of fossil fuels.

India, being a net importer of fossil fuels, is making efforts to reduce its dependence on oil imports. India imports nearly 80 per cent of oil every year to meet its energy demand. This leads to heavy foreign funds outflows and currency fluctuation uncertainties.

To reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, India is trying to promote biofuels. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently released “National Policy on Biofuels 2018”, under which it plans to triple ethanol production over the next four years. This will help India to reduce the oil import bill by nearly Rs 12,000 crore. The government has set a target of 20 per cent blending of ethanol in petrol by 2030.


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