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Something's cooking for biofuel gutter oil (3)

By  Xie Yu and Wang Hongyi  (China Daily)

09:21, December 15, 2011

Production chain

Despite this, the ministry said that it had found no evidence of major production or sales of gutter oil, and that it had only discovered a small number of illegal workshops, which, it said, indicated that the safety of cooking oil has improved.

However, it seems more likely that the production chain of reclaimed gutter oil is widespread and that the specter of toxic cooking oil will keep haunting the public.

Meanwhile in Suzhou, Zhao Feng and Zhao Jinghua, and their 200-plus colleagues are exploring the possibility of turning the waste oil into precious energy.

The workers in Suzhou collect approximately 290 tons of kitchen waste and gutter oil every day. It's sent to a processing plant in a nearby suburb, owned by a company called Jiangsu Clean Environmental Technology Co Ltd. There, the oil is broken down into marsh gas and biodiesel fuel, which can be used to run automobiles and airplanes.

The fuel is sold for about 8,000 yuan a ton. After costs, the company can make a profit of between 500 and 800 yuan from each ton of used oil, according to Song Kaibo, the manager, who added that the plant can produce 30 tons of biodiesel fuel a day when working at full capacity.

It seems a profitable business, but, of course, there's a snag. Song said his company is the "only one" that can survive and maintain a "slender profit" in China because of a "problem rooted in the raw materials".

"The production of biodiesel fuel is a high-tech industry, which requires high investment. That means we cannot afford expensive raw materials," he explained.

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Sam Teng at 2011-12-16175.136.52.*
Biofuel gutter oil should not be used for cooking purposes because of its harmful effects on health of human. The Chinese government should make it illegal for manufacturers to sell recycled oil for human consumption, and should take legal action against errant manufacturers.The oil, if used repeatedly, could lead to hypertension, damage to the liver and a potential cause of cancer.The Chinese government should set a minimum standard for cooking oil so that errant manufacturers cannot escape legal action.

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