Biodiesel from conversion of waste cooking oil – building an energy efficient and healthy megacity

Oct 2, 2014


Air pollution is an important environmental issue in many cities in Iran. The main cause is reportedly vehicle exhaust fumes. The lack of proper disposal facilities of growing waste cooking oils also contributes to growing pollution levels.

For this reason, the Iranian Government and its citizens are seeking to improve access to reliable sources of renewable energy and optimized solutions for waste recycling in order to reduce poverty and to improve the health of its citizens.

UNDP has been supporting Iran’s effort to achieve this goal.  Its project called, “Establishment of the regional site for practical training of sustainable management of waste cooking oil for the establishment of biodiesel as a model in megacities” is one such contribution. 

  UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Mr. B.Murali (center) visiting a lab in which waste cooking oil is converted to biodiesel

The initiative is part of the Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) and focuses on user friendly and innovative technology for conversion of waste cooking oil into biodiesel as an alternative source of fuel.  Biodiesel burns more efficiently and releases fewer CO2 emissions, while simultaneously providing a technology for recycling waste cooking oil. This also has the advantage of preventing such waste material finding its way into sewage systems and contaminating water sources.

The project has expanded to develop home units, including units which can be assembled, thus making it easier to transport. Waste cooking oil can be sourced from homes, chain restaurants and factories, and they now have the ability to facilitate decentralized and onsite conversions. Long-term use will have significant positive impacts on the environment. 

  Laleh Daraie, Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF/SGP) National Coordinator along with some students fueling up a bus with biodiesel

The project has helped establish a regional center in Tehran University for hands on training and demonstration. The project also creates awareness among people from all walks of life – producers, experts, students and citizens – about the problems of fossil fuel emissions, carcinogenic waste oils and associated health risks.  The key element in the project is the fully automated Biodiesel processor called the “BD-Pro 50L™”.  It is an EGE/SGP patented technology.  The Government and UNDP are signing a letter of agreement to expand the pilots to the community/ municipality sites.

Watch and share the above illustrated video to find out more and raise awareness about biodiesel and how it can contribute towards creating a cleaner, more resource efficient city.

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