Processed gutter oil is expected to be used as bus fuel within two years in Shanghai, as part of efforts to advance a circular economy and prevent recycled cooking oil from returning to the kitchen.
The Shanghai Municipal Food Safety Committee will cooperate with Tongji University and six businesses that process used cooking oil into biodiesel that can power vehicles, said Yan Zuqiang, the committee’s director, in an interview with a local news portal.
Owing to the comparatively high cost of transforming recycled cooking oil to vehicle diesel, those who use the oil will receive subsidies, he said.
Lou Diming, a professor at Tongji’s School of Automotive Studies who has led the study for the past three years, said after many experiments it is now the right time to turn the application of recycled cooking oil for vehicles into a reality.
His team has experimented with using mixed diesel fuel on more than 300 taxis, buses and lorries.
A regulation regarding the proper disposal of waste oil, including a clarification of the qualifications of oil collectors, came into effect in Shanghai in March.
The municipality leads the country in supervising the collection of waste oil, and at least 90 percent of its oil has been recycled appropriately, according to Yan.
“On the one hand, we emphasized cleaning up illegal oil collectors. On the other, we looked for ideal ways to use the recycled oil. Using it as auto fuel is one of them,” he said.
This is part of Shanghai’s attempts to innovate its public transportation system. Sun Jianping, director of the Shanghai Municipal Transport and Port Authority, said on Sunday that people will only opt for public transportation when they feel it is “more convenient” to take buses and subways.
For example, he said, the construction of Metro Line 16 and the extension of Metro Line 11 are ongoing, and nearly 100 bus routes along the lines will be adjusted to provide a more passenger-friendly experience after the subways are put into use.
“Moreover, transportation should lead and prop up city growth to reach a virtuous cycle rather than being constrained by development and constructions,” Sun said.