How to solve three problems with one idea
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Or as the team from Chinese start-up MotionECO would say: when life gives you used cooking oil, make eco-friendly biofuel.
In China we are working with MotionEco, a company that seeks to transform used cooking oil into sustainable biofuels. At the moment used cooking oil is sometimes illegally re-sold to restaurants, where it can endanger health. Rather more productively, it can be collected and re-cycled into cleaner burning marine, road and air biofuels.
We are collaborating with MotionEco to help explore how we can simultaneously tackle the challenges of food safety, waste cooking oil and sustainable transport in a Chinese city region.
With China’s rapid economic development, air pollution has grown into a public health hazard. Its citizens also have to contend with five million tonnes of potentially harmful used cooking oil each year, which is regularly recycled back into the food system. This is an illegal trade that poses a significant health risk.
MotionECO seeks to transform used cooking oil into sustainable biofuels that can reduce greenhouse gases from air, road and marine transportation by as much as 85%. This simultaneously tackles challenges of food safety, waste cooking oil and pollution.
MotionECO starts by connecting waste cooking oil collectors with biodiesel producers. A large part of their role is then encouraging big transportation companies to switch to this eco-friendly fuel. Thankfully, since the first commercial flight powered by cooking oil in 2011, the world is waking up to the potential of this sustainable biofuel.
MotionECO is receiving support from Shell to put their bright energy idea into action.
More in make the future
In the heart of Morro da Mineira, a favela in Rio de Janeiro, we took a rundown football pitch and powered it with kinetic and solar energy to demonstrate our belief that a mix of innovative ideas can change the way we power communities. It’s time to see if it worked.