Biodiesel Industry is seeking policy that will give them more access to used cooking oil from food processing industry. Used cooking oil can be processed to make biodiesel, which is derived from renewable biomass resources. In India, cooking oil accounts for 20% of total output of bio-diesel.
Some of the advantages of such a move as explained by Sandeep Chaturvedi, President of Biodiesel Association of India are:
1. It would increase biodiesel output by 3-4 million litres. Though this increase is small when compared to the total output of 110 million litres as of 2015-2016, such small changes put together has potential to revolutionise biodiesel production in our country.
2. It would also check used cooking oil from coming back for human consumption (some of the hazards of using reused oil for cooking are acidity, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, heart diseases).
Biodiesel would be a good substitute to fossil fuel-based diesel as Biodiesel is less polluting.
On the other hand, Kamlesh Barot, Director-Vie Hospitality Private Limited said that it will be a positive move and would benefit hotels and restaurants. He said, “It will be better for small restaurants and will also benefit them as it will be easy for them to dispose of used cooking oil. Earlier we at our hotel sold such cooking oil as scrap to the soap manufacturers and handloom sector. But today, as the diesel prices are growing up it will be a positive move for players like us, as it will add on to our profits.”
In the 2015-16 domestic production of bio-diesel increased to 110 million litres from 8-9 million litres in 2015-15. Biodiesel manufacturers mainly attribute this increase in production to the centre’s decision to allow up to 5% biodiesel in diesel used by railways. The decision to remove excise duty on inputs for making biodiesel is another factor.
The association also welcomed the Haryana government recent announcement to reduce VAT by 5% on biodiesel. They hoped such decisions are implemented sincerely and stressed the need for other states to follow them.
Enabling legislative and regulatory environment were one of the important reasons why Brazil became one of the top producers and users of renewable fuels like ethanol and biodiesel. If India wants to revolutionise biodiesel production, such legislative support is necessary.