China's biodiesel producers slowly moving from waste oil to fresh biomass

You know the saying "you're one in a million"? In China, that means there are a thousand others like you. With the world's largest population, is it surprising that China also has the greatest potential to reuse its cooking oil as biodiesel? The Worldwatch Institute recently figured that China generates over 4.5 million tons of used oil and grease each year, and that half of that could be collected and turned into biodiesel.
A group of businessmen in China has been making biodiesel since 2001 because it was a cost-effective way to power cars. The entrepreneurs who started a biodiesel company then have stuck with used oils (as opposed to the virgin oils used by many producers in Europe and the U.S.) and have managed to turn a profit without getting subsidies from the Chinese government. The government stepped in in 2004 with a biodiesel development project and today there are over 100 biodiesel production facilities in China. These plants still use mostly waste oil, but producers are increasingly looking at growing plants for biomass. Worldwatch says this is causing environmental concerns, but for now China's lead in recycling waste oil is minimizing biodiesel's threat to the environment.

[Source: Renewable Energy Access]

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