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Neste to explore UCO’s potential as biodiesel feedstock

Finnish fuel producer Neste is set to start a trial project to turn used cooking oil (UCO) into biodiesel at its biorefinery in Finland.

The trial, to be held at the company’s Kilpilahti refinery in Porvoo and expected to last until the end of 2017, will examine how UCO can be most effectively used as a biofuel feedstock.

Neste aims to process 20,000 tonnes of the material annually – acquired mostly from Finnish sources, including fast food restaurants – to produce its NExBTL brand biodiesel.

During the trial period, UCO will make up at most 4% of all renewable feedstocks used at the refinery and 0.2% of all feedstocks.

Neste ran experiments on UCO in 2015, but the 2,000 tonne patch processed at the time was too small to produce conclusive results on the feedstock’s suitability for biodiesel production, the company reports.

The fuel giant says it will monitor climate affecting emissions from UCO processing and report its findings to local environmental authorities.

According to Finnish regulations, used cooking oil is classified as a waste product.

This article was written by Ilari Kauppila, deputy editor at Biofuels International.