The Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Rural Energy and Development (MGIRED) in Bengaluru has started manufacturing biodiesel from used cooking oil sourced from a five-star hotel.
In May, MGIRED sent a proposal to Taj Vivanta, on M.G. Road, requesting their waste cooking oil, which could be converted into raw material for biodiesel. The fuel is produced using a technique called trans esterification (conversion of carboxylic acids to esters using acid and alcohols) at an MGIRED facility in Bengaluru. The first batch of biodiesel was given to the hotel on June 5.
According to experts, a litre of waste cooking oil can produce 850 to 950 ml of biodiesel depending on the quality of the raw material used. The biodiesel will be sent to engineering colleges in Bengaluru which will conduct engine and performance tests within a month.
“Based on the report, we will conduct trial rounds and accordingly the biodiesel will be released in the market,” an MGIRED official said. The fuel can be used in diesel-run vehicles by blending it with diesel.
At present, the facility produces 50 litres of biodiesel each week. The cost of producing one litre is ₹15 to ₹20.
Mohandas, Executive Director, MGIRED, said, “At present, Taj Vivanta has offered us 200 litres of waste cooking oil each month. In another three months, we plan to produce 1,000 litres of biodiesel from used cooking oil each month.”
The biodiesel will also be sent to the Indian Institute of Science, Gandhi Krishi Vignan Kendra in Bengaluru, and other government departments.
Gopa Kumar, Director of Engineering, Taj Vivanta, said the hotel will provide MGIRED 100 to 200 litres of used cooking oil each month. Earlier, they used to give the oil to an external vendor who has the license to dispose it.