Press Release (York, 15th July 2019) NNFCC release a new report on the 'Implications of Imported Used Cooking Oil as Biodiesel Feedstock'
The report discusses
how UK biofuels policy:
- Is driving the growing use of imported Used Cooking Oil to produce biodiesel
- Why there’s a need for rigorous checks on the providence of Used Cooking Oil sourced from outside the EU to ensure its sustainability
- Could indirectly lead to the unintended increase in the use of virgin vegetable oils, such as palm oil, as animal feed
Biodiesel is a
class of transport fuel which includes Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO) and
Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAME), produced from either vegetable oils or animal
fats. Intended as a replacement for fossil-derived diesel, FAME biodiesel forms
a significant component of the total renewable fuels supplied in the UK.
Between April 2017 and April 2018, nearly half of the 1,600 million litres of
renewable fuel supplied in the UK was biodiesel.
feedstock for biodiesel consumed in the UK is Used Cooking Oil (UCO). Its
utilisation as a feedstock has increased significantly within the EU. Between
2011 and 2016 there was a 360% increase in its use, rising from 0.68 million
tonnes to 2.44 million tonnes in just 5 years.
To meet the
growing demand for UCO, sourcing and importing from outside the EU is the only
legitimate option for increasing supply. However, as there are no current
globally agreed standards for UCO, suppliers are only required to meet the
operator’s specifications, resulting in a wide variety of qualities and
import of UCO is predominately from China, Indonesia and Malaysia; estimates of
UCO capacity and availability within these countries are inherently difficult
to validate; indeed, without a proper understanding of the current volumes of
waste oil generated, it is almost impossible to substantiate the GHG savings
associated with the feedstock. Additionally, it is difficult to assess if
additional wastes and/or the use of unsustainable virgin materials is being
indirectly stimulated as a result of the EU’s policy support for imported UCO.
If the use of
imported UCO is to continue, then confidence in its supply chain should be
paramount; the certification process of UCO – specifically when sourced from
outside the EU, where it is likely to be used as an animal feed – should be
robust, helping to ensure that the feedstock meets necessary levels of
traceability and sustainability.
reviews the potential sustainability and fuel quality implications of a
biofuels policy which stimulates the import of UCO from outside the EU as a