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Used Cooking Oil: Bad for Your Health but Good for Your Car?

Diabetes, hypertension, vascular inflammation are some of the dangers people may face by long term consumption of food prepared from used cooking oil according to health experts. But in these competitive times, neither can it be expected that every eatery practices healthy means unmindful of profit margins, nor can it be expected that a large number of people avoid eating outside. But an initiative by the central government promises to address this predicament.

On August 10, on the occasion of World Biofuel Day, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has launched a programme for procurement of Biodiesel, made from Used Cooking Oil.  Here are the main takeaways about this programme.

  • Entrepreneurs setting up Biodiesel plants get remunerative price and assurance of complete offtake of production by the Oil companies.
  • The state-run fuel retailers Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp and Hindustan Petroleum Corp will collect used cooking oil from hotels, restaurants and canteens across 100 cities
  • Oil companies will pay Rs 51/ litre for Biodiesel for the first year, Rs 52.7 for the second year and Rs 54.5 for the third year
  • The Oil companies will also bear the cost of transportation and GST for the first year

As reported in the Live Mint, India uses 27 billion liters of cooking oil each year, of which 1.4 billion liters can produce 1.1 billion liters of biodiesel.

On the one hand, this initiative will incentivise those in hotel and food businesses not to reuse cooking oil and instead sell it to the Oil companies. Once this practice deepens, it will automatically bring health benefits to consumers as well. On the other hand, this initiative will join the other efforts related to Bio-fuel and lessen the burden of the country’s import bill in the long run.

During the launch of the programme Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said that his ministry is working on a four-pronged strategy which is –promoting Ethanol, 2-G ethanol, Compressed bio-Gas and Bio-diesel. He informed that the ethanol blending in Petrol has gone up from 1% to about 8% and is likely to touch 10% soon. In addition, the Government is planning to allow production of ethanol from surplus foodgrains which sometimes go waste and also entail expenditure on storage. On the issue of compressed biogas, the minister said that CGD network being set up in over 400 districts will give a big fillip to it, and already 300 letters of intent have been signed with entrepreneurs for setting up CBG plants.

Our previous article Odisha’s Bio-Refinery and India’s Path of Bio-Fuels sheds more light on the developments that have been taking place in the sphere of Biofuel.