Travel on a jet, using a little cooking oil

Military aircraft testing would show the efficacy of the newly-developed fuel.   | Photo Credit: R. V. Moorthy

Your used cooking oil could help fly a jet in the near future. The Dehradun-based Indian Institute of Petroleum has successfully finished a pilot test to convert used cooking oil into bio-aviation turbine fuel (Bio-ATF), which can be blended with conventional ATF and used as aircraft fuel.

The Institute collected used cooking oil from caterers and hotels in Dehradun for the pilot, which has now set the platform for commercial use of the technology. “The chemical composition of the used cooking oil is identical to other plant-based oils that have been converted to Bio-ATF. We have shown that Bio-ATF production is possible from used cooking oil,” said Saleem Akhtar Farooqui, a scientist at the institute.

Mr. Farooqui said that the Bio-ATF derived from used cooking oil is yet to be tested on a flight. “The pilot test has proven that it is very similar to Bio-ATF derived from jatropha oil. A large quantity of Bio-ATF is needed for testing on an actual flight. So far we haven’t built a stock of used cooking oil large enough to produce the quantity of Bio-ATF required. But in the next month, we will.”

The test assumes importance as the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has launched the Repurpose Cooking Oil (RUCO) initiative to collect and convert used cooking oil into bio-fuel. As many as 64 companies in 101 locations across the country have been identified for the purpose by FSSAI. The food safety body says that by 2020, it should be possible to recover about 220 crore litres of used cooking oil for conversion into bio-fuel.

The CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum is looking for partners to commercialise the technology.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 4:21:01 AM |

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