Chinese researchers develop country's first industrial plant to make aviation fuel from 'gutter oil'
Published: Oct 29, 2022 01:09 AM


Chinese scientists have explored a new method to deal with the problem of used cooking oil, or gutter oil, in China. A research institute in East China's Zhejiang Province has built a device to make jet fuel from used cooking oil, media reported on Friday.

An airplane, five percent of whose fuel was replaced by sustainable fuel made from used cooking oil during its maiden flight, was delivered to Air China recently, media reports said on Friday.

According to the reports, the sustainable fuel was made from used cooking oil via a device developed by Sinopec Zhenhai Reifining & Chemical Company in Ningbo, Zhejiang.

It is China's first domestic industrial plant to produce biological aviation fuel, which can cut CO2 emissions by half, according to media reports.

The plant can process about 100,000 tons of used cooking oil and produce 40,000-50,000 tons of aviation fuel per year, cutting CO2 emissions by 80,000 tons, media reports said.

It is not the first time that Chinese scientists and airlines have explored making aviation fuel from used cooking oil.

In November, 2017, a Hainan Airlines flight took off from Beijing with 186 passengers, 15 cabin crew members, and a tank full of 85 percent regular jet fuel mixed with 15 percent recycled cooking oil. Upon landing in Chicago, it was the first time a Chinese airline had used cooking oil to power an international flight. In 2015, the same airline successfully used cooking oil to power a flight from Shanghai to Beijing, according to Quartz.

Gutter oil has long been a public health concern in China due to its use in some restaurants. Used cooking oil can contain toxic compounds and is considered unsanitary. In 2010, Chinese media outlets released a series of exposés on crime rings that would take recycled cooking oil, repackage it, and market it as new. Dozens of people have been given lengthy prison sentences for the scam.

Global Times