Dubai: Dubai will become the first city in the world to use locally made biodiesel and waste cooking oil to fuel municipality vehicles.
Dubai Municipality signed a contract to this effect with Neutral Fuels on Wednesday as part of the Car-Free Day campaign.
The move will help in an 80 per cent reduction of the life cycle carbon footprint compared with use of regular diesel. Biofuel also reduces carbon monoxide emissions by 40 per cent and smog by 50 per cent.
“We have signed a contract to promote biodiesel and we are going to use biodiesel initially on a few of our vehicles. Gradually we will see if we can use it for our larger fleets. We are encouraging all efforts in eco-friendly initiatives and this contract also allows Neutral Fuel to approach firms and collect oil,” Hussain Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality, said.
Interestingly, the fuel is created by collecting waste cooking oil from restaurants, which is than mixed with methanol and sodium methylate and heated in a reactor. The mixture than changes its chemical structure and turns into biodiesel.
According to Karl Feilder, CEO of Dubai-based Neutral Fuels, the process is highly efficient and cost-effective.
“It costs as much as the cost of regular diesel. We use vegetable cooking oil and 100 litres of oil can be turned into 95 litres of biodiesel. This fuel is more efficient in terms of consumption and it helps in prolonging the engine’s condition,” said Feilder, who has been creating the oil over the last five years in Dubai Investment Park.
Conveniently, the biodiesel can be used for all diesel vehicles without making any modification to the engine.
The firm is working with several organisations including McDonalds’ UAE and Gulf Indian High School to fuel all their vehicles with biodiesel.
Over the last five years, the firm has produced one per cent of Dubai’s diesel requirements. This amount of fuel is enough for trucks to run for up to five million kilometres.