Potential Energy Business from Used Cooking Oil

Sunday, 6 December 2020 - Dibaca 3621 kali




NUMBER: 388.Pers/04/SJI/2020

Date: 6 December 2020

Potential Energy Business from Used Cooking Oil

One of the popular sources of energy alternative is Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME), more commonly known as biodiesel. Because biodiesel is biodegradable with the help of other microorganism, non-toxic, and can replace Solar diesel fuel without further modification, it makes a good alternative to fossil fuels. Since 2018, the Indonesian government has mandated the use of palm oil-based biodiesel in diesel fuel. The current implementation is B30, referring to a blend between 30 percent of FAME and 70 percent of diesel fuel.

Besides palm oil, FAME can also be made from animal fats, other vegetable oils, and even Used Cooking Oils (UCO). Seeing its potential, UCO can be a rosy business option in the future.

UCO offers vast potential, and thus, it is a big business for young entrepreneurs in the future, Advisor to Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources for Environment and Spatial Layout Saleh Abdurrahman has said to the esdm.go.id team in Jakarta on Friday (4/12), adding that the use of UCO for biodiesel can both deliver economic benefits and reduce environmental impacts.

An initial study by state agency National Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Reduction (TNP2K) and clean energy think tank Traction Energi Asia about the Potential of Used Cooking Oil for Biodiesel and Poverty Reduction in Indonesia (2020) shows that in 2019, Indonesia national consumption of palm oil reached 16.2 million kilo liters (KL). Out of such volume, about 40%-60% of UCO was produced, or equivalent to 6.46-9.72 million KL, and only 3 million KL or 18.5% of the UCO could be collected.

The study shows that only a small amount of UCO in Indonesia can be used as biodiesel. Out of the 3 million KL of UCO collected, only tiny 570 KL were converted into biodiesel, while the remaining 2.4 million KL were used as recycled cooking oil and exported.

According to the TNP2K and Traction Energy Asia, conversion quantity was low because the mechanism to collect UCO from restaurants, hotels, and households was unavailable. Other challenges include asymmetric distribution of UCO source locations with the locations of biodiesel processing plants, inefficient processing technologies (especially in plants managed by communities), and the quality of UCO-processed biodiesel needs further testing.

UCO processing for biodiesel, especially when done by communities, will in fact bring many economic, health, and environmental benefits. Economically, for example, Sardji Sarwan, manager of a Non-governmental Group (KSM) in East Tarakan of North Kalimantan Province said that his group can produce biodiesel worth of Rp 2 million per day with nine staff working 4 hours daily. Each staff is paid Rp 2 million per month. The plant produces 180 liters of biodiesel in a single day which is sold at Rp 11,000 per liter.

Although data shows that the conversion cost of UCO into biodiesel is higher than that of palm oil, but the production index price (HIP) of UCO for biodiesel is lower than the HIP of palm oil because the material cost is lower.

From the health point of view, biodiesel production from UCO can reduce the use of recycled UCO for cooking so that it indirectly reduce the risk of increased HNE (a toxic compound formed in unsaturated oils due to heat treatment and oxidation) in food which has been know to cause stroke, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's.

From the environmental side, UCO processing for biodiesel can positively reduce hazardous and toxic (B3) waste. UCO dumped carelessly risks increasing the level of Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) and Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD)--a measure of the amount of oxygen required to remove waste organic matter from water in the process of decomposition by aerobic bacteria, or bacteria that live only in an environment containing oxygen. Oil layers covering the water surface blocks out sunray, causing the death of water biota and potentially polluting ground water. (IY)

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