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Promotion of used cooking oil recycling for sustainable biodiesel production (RECOIL)

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RecOil aims to increase sustainable biodiesel production and its local market intake by enhancing the household used cooking oil (UCO) collection and transformation. Biodiesel produced from UCO could replace 1,5% of the EU27 diesel consumption, helping Member States to reach the 2020 targets. The domestic sector, to which there are no wide spread collection systems, is the main source of UCO in some EU countries. RecOil will assess the "UCO to biodiesel" chain best practices through a household survey, the industry expertise and local authorities cooperation, to develop an on-line decision-making guide. This tool will assist stakeholders in developing a chain adjusted to local specificities (geographic, social, legal, and economic). It will be shared with all the EU interested parties, in order to promote the replication of good practices. Pilot projects will be implemented for validation. A review of the legal and market barriers and opportunities will be made available to the policy makers and stakeholders. Small on-site systems will demonstrate sustainable fuels and will benefit local communities economically and environmentally.


  • The main output is the development of an on-line guide for UCO collection, transformation and commercialisation that will be a main reference for this sector. This guide will include an implementation methodology and a decision making support tool that will be valuable to the replication of good practices throughout Europe. It will be widely disseminated to market players across the EU.
  • One other major output is the development of pilot projects in promotion, collection, transformation and commercialisation of UCO / Biodiesel. These pilot projects validate the information related to the best practices found and act as living labs for the theoretical concepts collected. They have a strong demonstration effect on local communities and for all stakeholders. Most of these pilots become permanent; it means around of 500 UCO collection points and thousands of UCO liters collected from householders monthly.
  • Finally, with this project, the biodiesel market will be promoted by improving public awareness of the importance of recycling UCO, but also by increasing the public recognition of vehicles powered by biodiesel, that provide important services to society. In some regions the increase of UCO collection increased more than 120% due the promotional campaigns developed.
  • The legal framework analysis and engagement of local authorities and policy makers will promote the necessary legal framework revision in order to facilitate the removal of some barriers for "UCO to biodiesel" chain.
  • The engagement and discussion with stakeholders here referred by them as an opportunity to discuss the sector and share experiences and views about.  

Lessons learned

1. UCO collection points The collection points must be as numerous as possible, located in busy places or places with high visibility taking in consideration the theft risk.Facilities on which you throw a container with the oil inside is preferred.The engagement of public authorities is fundamental.Schools engagement can be an asset. 2. Communication aspects Householders must be informed about WHAT, HOW and WHERE to deliver UCO.People are more prone to recycle UCO if they think it is practical and easy to do it.Environmental reasons for recycling shall be made explicit and preferably relating to individual behavior.It is important for people to know exactly the destination of the UCO.Do not advertise the system if it is not working yet, only after it is tested and is running properly. Campaign should be regular and last in time. 3. Policy framework UCO collection and processing are affected by uncertainties in the EU and National Energy and Environment policy.Supporting measures to facilitate small producers currently are not available in some countries and not efficient in others.The limited use and production of advanced biofuels should also be addressed by developing higher blending targets for biodiesel.The lack of clarity regarding the waste classification and the certification process limits the creation of value chains.Policy makers and the general public are not aware of the problems that no collection and disposal of UCO may produce.

Partners and coordinator

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Environment and Energy of Arrábida
Contact point: 
Orlando Paraiba


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In brief

02/05/2012 to 01/05/2015
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