Recycled Vegetable Oil
To find information on the potential markets/uses of used vegetable oil that has been cleaned besides biofuel production and for animal feed.
- The cooking oil recycling industry in the United States was valued at $3 billion in 2019. This figure represents a -0.3% growth decrease over the last 5 years i.e. from 2014 to 2019.
- The companies that have the largest market share in this industry include Valley Proteins Inc., Restaurant Technologies Inc., Baker Commodities Inc. and Darling Ingredients Inc.
Alternative Uses of Used Vegetable Oil
- Soap formation - after the used vegetable oil is filtered and cleaned, it can be used as an ingredient in the making of soap.
- Pest poison - used vegetable oil can also be used to dispose of pests like ants.
- Dust suppression - another niche use of recycled vegetable oil is dust suppression during construction or drilling projects.
- Cosmetics - oil is a crucial ingredient in making cosmetics like foundation, lipsticks, concealers, eye shadow, skincare products, and hair care products. These products can contain between 1% and 99% oil concentration resulting in their soft texture and easy-to-spread quality. Using recycled vegetable oil for this purpose favor the current environment-friendly, natural, and cruelty-free manufacturing trends.
- Fertilizer - a potential future use of used vegetable oil is in the manufacturing of fertilizer. A recent discovery by a team of researchers at Flinders University in South Australia could kick-start this market. The researchers "developed a new, controlled-release fertilizer polymer made from sulfur and used canola oil. The polymer could hold nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium and gradually release nutrients into the soil through water diffusion."
- Fermentation media component - recycled vegetable oil can also be used in fermentation as researchers were able to successfully screen microorganisms that can accumulate surface active compounds by utilizing recycled vegetable oil as a potential carbon source in the process of fermentation.
- Value added products - recycled vegetable oil can also be used as a raw material in the production of value added products. This is because many chemical/enzymatic processes can successfully utilize such oils in the production of new chemicals as value added products. For instance, glycerol that is obtained from used vegetable oil can be used as is in the production of hydrogen gas, methanol, low grade animal foods and chemicals, and effluent systems.
- Other niche uses of used vegetable oil include use as household lubricant, key lock lubricant, furniture polish and conditioner, leather preservative, rattan and wicker furniture protection, removing paint from hands, hair moisturizer, pot and pan protector, non-stick gardening tools, car cleaning, and composting.
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