Converting cooking oil into renewable energy
Did you know that it is possible to recycle cooking oil to produce bio diesel? Well it is, and one young brilliant Kenyan entrepreneur is doing it. Waste oil has been known to clog kitchen sinks and drainages, is an eyesore and a major environmental concern. Having been established in 2014, the company delved into the hospitality industry for waste oil recovery in 2016.
“We realized that there was an untapped resource in the hospitality industry therefore we went out to assist in disposing their waste vegetable oil,” noted Bryan Lukano, the founder and CEO of Zijani Limited.
Zijani began collecting the waste vegetable oil from hotels and restaurants of which 80% of it is biodiesel. The company first began collecting the oil from Java Kenya. “We convert over 5,000 litres of vegetable cooking oil to biodiesel per month,” he reiterated.
The company was amongst the top five finalists at the recently held Sankalp Africa Awards earlier this month.
The biodiesel can run in any diesel engine comfortably without any emissions. The biodiesel undergoes complete combustion making it a clean energy source.
“We sell back the refined biodiesel at an affordable rate to the hotels and restaurants to fuel their generators,” said Lukano.
Zijani produces pure, unblended B100 biodiesel refined from waste vegetable oil and glycerol which is a by product.
Some of the benefits of using bio diesel include environment conservation as the fuel undergoes complete combustion thus reducing the amount of green house gas emissions, it is cost effective, reduces the dependence on crude oils, is a better lubricant for engines, it is non toxic, has a longer shelf life and is more environmental friendly.
“We are also a distributor of vegetable cooking oil from top brands in Kenya such as Bidco oil, Pwani oil and Kapa oil,” added Lukano.
The company is currently receiving business advisory services under the incubation programme.
“A lot of awareness creation and investment is needed to facilitate the faster adoption of the renewable energy by users,” said Lukano.
In 2016, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) passed a law that prohibits restaurant owners to dispose off cooking oil in the drainage. Under the Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA) Cap 387, hotel owners are required to hand over their used oil to a NEMA licensed waste handler.
Next time you are thinking of pouring your used vegetable oil down the drain, think Zijani.
By Mercy Mumo