The production of these renewable fuels represents "a step forward," emphasizes CSIC expert Jose Miguel Campos, "because the efficiency of the production process is very high. For every 100 liters of oil recycled, 80 liters of biofuels are produced. Additionally, of the remaining 20%, 5-10% can be transformed into biopropane, a biogas that's the same as the LPG we use in heating cylinders.
Used oil can also have a second life transformed into biodegradable bioplastics, "particularly PHA, a type of plastic with numerous applications," Campos adds. "These bioplastics that are being developed will be suitable for any use we give to normal plastics, and as an alternative, for example, to compostable plastics, which are made from potato or corn starch. This way, we'll be using a waste product as a raw material and not a food product".
In the chemical industry, another field with great potential is the reuse of used frying oil to make surfactants, which are the basis of many products we use in our daily lives such as detergents, cosmetic creams, and paint.
According to Rafael Roldán, recycling the oil we use in our homes is not only a beneficial measure for the environment. It's also a habit that will contribute to a broader social change, which will be key to achieving a more sustainable planet: "We're moving towards a circular economy in which, by reusing this waste, solutions and products of value to society are already being created".