Eisa Al Qubaisi demonstrates the oil recycling process during the launch of ‘Together for Recycling Cooking Oil’ campaign at Al Raha Gardens, Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Tadweer, the Centre of Waste Management Abu Dhabi, has launched an initiative to convert household’s cooking oil waste into biodiesel for vehicles.

The project has been started in Abu Dhabi’s Al Raha area whereby residents are provided with a five litre container to keep in their homes and fill with any cooking oil waste, instead of emptying the waste down a kitchen sink. The green coloured waste containers can be emptied into one of the large collection point containers placed in Al Raha area. The oil waste is then collected, treated and purified to produce biodiesel and glycerol.

The recycling project is in collaboration with Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (Masdar Institute), which has developed the technology to treat the cooking oil waste. It aims to promote recycling, reuse and provide the means for communities to suitably dispose of waste.

Tadweer, known for involving students to promote and embed a greener lifestyle in society from an early age, are including them in this campaign. Pupils from Raha International School have been briefed about the project and provided with tools to raise awareness in the community.

Last week, Eisa Saif Al Qubaisi, Tadweer general manager, and representatives from Masdar Institute along with students from Raha International School visited 50 homes in the Al Raha Gardens community to inform residents about the initiative.

As part of the awareness campaign, student volunteers armed with 20 litre containers on wheels, into which waste oil can be poured on the spot, and five litre containers for residents, will be visiting the area weekly for the next month.

Speaking to Gulf News, Al Qubaisi said the project was initially launched due to issues cooking oil was causing in the sewage network. “This started in 2014. We had a team that was looking into solving some of the issues that we face in waste management, one of these issues is the cooking oil,” he said.

The finding drove Tadweer to join hands with Masdar Institute to study the possibilities of recycling and reusing the oil. The collaboration has resulted in development of a technology that is currently undergoing reviews for two patents.

Praising the work carried out by Masdar Institute, Al Qubaisi said, “The development of the technology was done in Masdar (Masdar Institute), it was not imported from anywhere else. The reactor has been developed in Masdar (Masdar Institute).”

Asked if he hoped the project would continue beyond the one-month pilot period, Al Qubaisi said, “We are beyond hope now, we are at the first step of success. We are involving more and more communities after this one month.”

“This is an awareness campaign, so the students are involved for one month…because we cannot sustain students going door by door. That is the aim of this month. After this, we know there might be a drop in participation but we will do monthly awareness campaigns to keep the momentum going.”

“This is only the beginning,” he added and confirmed plans to expand the project to other parts of the city in the near future.

A representative from Masdar Institute explained that biodiesel created from cooking oil waste can be used in diesel cars and is a better solution for the environment as it reduces greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and mono-nitrogen oxide.

The glycerol separated in the process can also be gasified and turned into electricity.