Italy-headed oil and gas major Eni S.p.A has begun collecting used cooking oils (UCO) from the homes of its employees in Porto Marghera, which will then be converted into high-quality biofuels.
Announced late December 2017, this pioneering initiative is part of Eni’s commitment to adopt a circular economy programme across all of its business areas, with the aim of maximising efficiency and the sustainable use of energy.
According to Eni, it is the first company in the world to have taken a traditional refinery and transformed it into a biorefinery using proprietary technology. The employee UCO project is being launched in the Eni Biorefinery in Venice following an agreement between Eni and Veritas, the multi-utility company responsible for the collection and treatment of waste in the Venice area.
Over the course of the next few weeks, the project will be extended to the Porto Marghera petrochemical plant where Eni’s subsidiaries Versalis and Syndial also operate. A container made specifically for the collection of UCO has already been installed inside the biorefinery and employees have been given a special jerry can to facilitate the disposal of their used oils.
Veritas will be in charge of emptying the container. The City of Venice, Veritas, AVM/ACTV and Eni signed an agreement on March 9, 2018, to deliver the purified oil to the Venice biorefinery. Here the UCO will be converted into the high-quality biofuel Enidiesel+, which contains a 15 percent renewable blend and will be used by the Vaporetti boat taxis in the lagoon.
Eni plans to progressively extend the project of collecting used cooking oils to other company sites in Italy. The primary objective of the project is to convert waste, which would otherwise be potentially detrimental to the environment into a new energy resource.
According to Eni, estimates show that every Italian family produces about 3 litres of used fats, oils and grease (FOG) annually. Improper disposal of FOG causes several environmental problems such as surface water pollution as well as increased wastewater treatment costs.