Gutter oil target to be met as gas sales grow

The number of gas stations in Shanghai offering a hybrid fuel mixed with biodiesel made from "gutter oil" increased to 40 in August, the food safety commission said yesterday.

The number of gas stations in Shanghai offering a hybrid fuel mixed with biodiesel made from “gutter oil” increased to 40 in August, the food safety commission said yesterday.

Gutter oil, so called because it is sometimes dumped in gutters and drains, is expired cooking oil.

Sinopec, the company selling the fuel, expects the fuel to be on sale in at least 200 gas stations by the end of the year, meaning that the city’s annual target 30,000 tons of biodiesel made from gutter oil, known as BD100, will be met.

About 1 million vehicles have pumped 54 million liters of the fuel, marketed as B5 biodiesel, in the city since October 30 last year. B5 is a combination of 95 percent regular diesel and 5 percent BD100. It features almost the same performance as regular diesel.

Lu Wei, vice general manager of Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co, said B5 is popular among consumers and its quality is fast being recognized.

“At first the sales of B5 accounted for only 10 to 20 percent of all diesel sold at our gas stations, but now it is up to 35 percent,” he said.

Another factor is price. Sinopec sells the fuel 0.3 yuan (4 US cents) per liter less than regular diesel, with 0.24 yuan subsidized by the government and 0.06 yuan from their own pocket.

The company can now deliver 600,000 tons of B5 to gas stations in the city each year.

Biodiesel mostly serves container trucks, but the government exploring new uses for it.

Fifty sanitation trucks in suburban Fengxian District use it regularly, up from 20 in October last year, and the government is experimenting with using biodiesel in freighters transporting household waste.

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