Wed, July 11, 2012
China > China & World

'Gutter oil'to fly in the air

2012-07-11 03:35:06 GMT2012-07-11 11:35:06(Beijing Time)  SINA English

By Ma Qian, Sina English

China's illegal cooking oil, or gutter oil, made from leftovers dredged from gutters behind restaurants, has all these days been viewed as a hazard to public health and thereupon incurred nationwide crackdown. However, in another country, trash oil can be turned into aviation fuel.

The KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will purchase 2,000 tonnes of illegal cooking oil from China and transform it into aviation fuel. The Netherlands' annual demand for the oil would reportedly reach 120,000 tonnes.

Last November, the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines purchased 20 tonnes of gutter oil from Qingdao, a coastal city in China's eastern Shandong Province. The sample was then tested to show whether it could be exploited as jet-fuel.

After a string of formalities, such as Customs declaration, the waste oil bought from Shanghai will be processed into biological jet-kerosene by technicians of the Dutch airline. The 2,000-ton oil is schedule to start their "journey in the air" around mid July.

The news has brought in buzz among Chinese netizens. Some comment that the once filthy gutter oil is now "high up in the air."

From June, the Dutch airline began to supply intercontinental flights with waste oil-converted fuel.

Nonetheless, the Netherlands is not the only country to process waste oil into jet-fuel. As early as in 2008, some British airlines transformed animal fats into aviation fuel. In 2011, the British Thomsonfly Airlines also managed to turn fuel from one of its engines of an aircraft, after oil treatments, into fuel oil, which proved a success in test flights.

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