Creating a sustainability benchmark

Dubai is the first city in the world to adopt biodiesel made 100 per cent locally from 100 per cent waste cooking oil for use in municipality vehicles.

Dubai is once again creating a world first as Dubai Municipality recently signed a ground-breaking agreement with Neutral Fuels to replace diesel in its vehicles with clean biodiesel.

With the agreement, Dubai will become the first city in the world to formally adopt biodiesel made 100 per cent locally from 100 per cent waste cooking oil for use in its municipal vehicles. Biodiesel is a clean sustainable biofuel produced by reacting used cooking oil with methanol in the presence of a sodium methylate catalyst. Neutral Fuels has been producing biodiesel in the UAE since 2010, when it became the first biodiesel manufacturer ever to be licensed in Dubai.

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of UAE and ruler of Dubai, is driving initiatives to promote fuel efficiency and create a truly sustainable city within the next three decades, under his UAE Vision 2021 and Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030.

These include the rational use of energy and fuel, encouraging conversion of waste to energy and sustainable transport infrastructure.

Karl W Feilder, CEO and chairman of Neutral Fuels, said, “This is a fantastic day for the UAE, for Dubai and for biodiesel. In adopting biodiesel – which doesn’t even require any engine modifications on diesel vehicles – the municipality is creating a sustainability benchmark which the rest of the world should note.

“We are proud to be part of the UAE’s bold vision for a sustainable future, and applaud the municipality for making such a strategic move.”

VIPs and Dubai Municipality staff gathered at the municipality headquarters in Al Rigga, Dubai, to celebrate the agreement, and also to witness another world first: a life-sized demonstration of how a biorefinery works.

“Neutral Fuels is keen for everyone to see for themselves exactly how Dubai’s used vegetable cooking oil is chemically converted into pure, clean biodiesel – so we recreated our Dubai production facility in the Municipality car park,” said Feilder.

Biodiesel – which doesn’t cost any more than traditional diesel – is the quickest and simplest method available for vehicle owners to decrease the earth’s reliance on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Biodiesel made from used vegetable cooking oil reduces the CO2 – the ‘greenhouse gas’ which is causing the temperature of the planet to rise and melting the ice caps.

“Processing millions of litres of used cooking oil into biodiesel per annum, Neutral Fuels symbolises the difference between fossil fuel and biofuel. Fossil fuel comes from ancient sources deep in the earth. Getting it out, processing it and using it is a destructive process. By contrast, there is nothing destructive about biofuel. It is fresh, modern, clean and sustainable – just like Dubai,” Feilder concluded.

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