Vegetable oil recycling

Vegetable oil recycling is increasingly being carried out to produce a vegetable oil fuel. In the UK, waste cooking oil collection is governed by the Environment Agency. All waste cooking oil collections need to be carried out by a company registered as a waste carrier by the Environment Agency. On each collection a waste transfer note needs to the filled out and copies held by both parties for a minimum of 3 years. Waste transfer notes need to contain:

  • Full company details of who the waste is being transferred to
  • Their waste registration details
  • Full details of who the waste is being transferred from
  • Date
  • Signatures from both parties

Waste transfer notes can be hard paper copies or electronic versions. Here is an example of a waste transfer note currently is use by a UK waste cooking oil company.

Opportunities for businesses and consumers to recycle used cooking oil ("yellow grease") has increased.[1] Used cooking oil can be refined into different types of biofuels used for power generation and heating.[2] A significant benefit is that biofuels derived from recycled cooking oil typically burn clean,[2] have a low carbon content and do not produce carbon monoxide. This helps communities to reduce their carbon footprints.[2] The recycling of cooking oil also provides a form of revenue for restaurants, which are sometimes compensated by cooking oil recyclers for their used deep fryer oil.[2] Cooking oil recycling also results in less used oil being disposed of in drains, which can clog sewage lines due to the build-up of fats and has to be collected there as "brown grease" by grease traps.[3]

Vegetable oil refining is a process to transform vegetable oil into fuel by hydrocracking or hydrogenation. Hydrocracking breaks larger molecules into smaller ones using hydrogen while hydrogenation adds hydrogen to molecules. These methods can be used for production of gasoline, diesel, and propane. The diesel fuel that is produced has various names including green diesel or renewable diesel.

In the past waste oils were collected by pig farmers as part of food waste from pig swill bins. The grease was skimmed off the swill tanks and sold for further processing, while the remaining swill was processed into pig food.

See also


  1. Balkanlio─člu, Elif (April 15, 2012). "Recycling of waste cooking oil into biodiesel protects water resources". Today's Zaman (Turkey). Retrieved April 17, 2012.
  2. Meindersma, Sandy (April 8, 2012). "Recycling used cooking oil a snap for area restaurants". Worcester Telegram. Retrieved April 17, 2012.
  3. Hunt, April (March 28, 2012). "DeKalb commissioner sees recycling as answer to sewer spill woes". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved April 17, 2012.
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