The 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 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.
About RUCO Initiative
1. The FSSAI launched RUCO – Repurpose Used Cooking Oil on Biofuel Day 2018. RUCO is an ecosystem that will enable the collection and conversion of used cooking oil to biodiesel.
2. India is one of the largest consumers of vegetable oil and so has the potential to recover almost 220 crore litre of Used Cooking Oil (UCO) for the production of biodiesel by the year 2022.
3. FSSAI has launched a micro-site to monitor the progress of the collection and conversion of UCO to biodiesel. Sixty-Four companies have been identified thus far at 101 locations across the country to enable collection of UCO.
4. McDonald’s is already converting its used cooking oil to biodiesel from 100 outlets in Mumbai and Pune as of today.
5. Bangalore based ECO Green Fuels is also currently converting approximately 1200 tonnes of UCO to biodiesel annually.
6. The regulator is implementing an Education, Enforcement and Ecosystem (EEE) strategy to divert UCO from the food value chain and curb current illegal practices.
7. 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.
8. The chemical composition of the used cooking oil is identical to other plant-based oils that have been converted to Bio-ATF.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is an autonomous body established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. The FSSAI has been established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which is a consolidating statute related to food safety and regulation in India. FSSAI is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety.
The FSSAI is headed by a non-executive Chairperson, appointed by the Central Government, either holding or has held the position of not below the rank of Secretary to the Government of India. Rita Teotia is the current Chairperson for FSSAI and Pawan Kumar Agarwal is the current Chief Executive Officer for FSSAI.
The FSSAI has its headquarters at New Delhi. The authority also has 6 regional offices located in Delhi, Guwahati, Mumbai, Kolkata, Cochin, and Chennai. 14 referral laboratories notified by FSSAI, 72 State/UT laboratories located throughout India and 112 laboratories are NABL accredited private laboratories notified by FSSAI.