Chinese start-up, Jinshang Environmental Technology, have recycled leftover oil from hot pot restaurants into fuel that is powerful enough to power airplanes.

The Chengdu-based company collects used oil from Sichuan’s hot pot restaurants, before removing the impurities and creating an end product that is a biofuel precursor usually named industrial mixed oil. This is then shipped to global energy giants like BP, and the world’s largest producer of sustainable aviation fuel, Neste Oyj, to be further processed into jet fuel.

This remarkable innovation comes in time with the pressure placed on the aviation industry to rapidly decarbonise, and find greener ways to power its airplanes.

Leftover oil from restaurants in China are a huge source for biofuel, with more than 41 million tonnes being produced a year. BloombergNEF estimates that converting waste fat, oils and grease from hospitality businesses could meet 4 percent of global demand for jet fuel by 2030.

However, only 3 million tonnes is currently being recycled into biofuel.

Jinshang Environmental Technology has plans to double its production capacity this year, through constructing new facilities and collecting more leftover oil from other provinces. It also hopes to create facilities that will allow the start-up to refine the leftover oil into biofuel independently.

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