World Economy

Gutter Oil to Aviation Biofuel

Gutter Oil to Aviation BiofuelGutter Oil to Aviation Biofuel

A plant to turn used cooking oil, or ‘gutter oil’ into sustainable aviation biofuel has been opened by China’s Commercial Aircraft Corp. and US Company Boeing in Hangzhou.

The aviation biofuel pilot project is developed by Chinese Hangzhou Energy & Engineering Technology Co., Ltd. to clean contaminants from waste oils and convert it into jet fuel at a rate of 650 liters (160 gallons) per day, according to a statement from Boeing, World Bulletin reported.

This is the first facility in China to test a new aviation biofuel conversion technology and scale it up to a pilot plant.

“The project’s goal is to demonstrate the technical feasibility and analyze the cost of producing higher volumes of aviation biofuel from gutter oil and other waste cooking oils,” the company said.

Test production has started in September 2014 and continuous production is expected to start in November 2014, Boeing confirmed.

The two companies estimate that 1.8 billion liters (500 million gallons) of biofuel can be produced annually in China from used cooking oil, which according to General Electric Aviation, is enough to fly more than 12 million people from New York City to London on Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets.

Gutter oil can also be converted to biodiesel for vehicles with diesel engines, according to Boeing.

“Sustainably produced aviation biofuel will play a key role in reducing carbon emissions from commercial aviation because it reduces emissions by 50-80 percent on a gallon-for-gallon basis compared to petroleum jet fuel,” Boeing said.