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RUCO (Repurpose Used Cooking Oil) initiative

Topics Covered:

  1. Awareness in technology and development of new technology.


RUCO (Repurpose Used Cooking Oil) initiative


What to study?

For Prelims: RUCO- features.

For Mains: Need for regulation of used cooking oil and uses of used cooking oil.


Context: To mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on 2nd October as Rashtriya Swachhta Diwas, publicity vans were flagged off in Delhi, to generate awareness among the people about the OMCs’ initiative of converting Used Cooking Oil to Biodiesel. 

  • The publicity involves wide social media campaign to spread awareness and educate people about the ill effects of used cooking oil and ways to dispose it off for converting it to biodiesel.


Concerns associated with the consumption of used cooking oil (UCO):

  • During frying, several properties of oil are altered, Total Polar Compounds(TPC) are formed on repeated frying.
  • The toxicity of these compounds is associated with several diseases such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, liver diseases.


Limit set by FSSAI:

FSSAI has fixed a limit for Total Polar Compounds at 25 percent beyond which the vegetable oil shall not be used.


What are Total Polar Compounds (TPC)?

  1. The level of TPC increases every time oil is re-heated.
  2. TPC accumulation in oil without food is slower than that in oil frying with food.


About RUCO:

  1. Launched by FSSAI.
  2. The initiative will enable collection and conversion of used cooking oil to bio-diesel.
  3. FSSAI wants businesses using more than 100 litres of oil for frying, to maintain a stock register and ensure that UCO is handed over to only registered collecting agencies.


Potential and significance of the initiative:

  1. India has the potential to recover 220 crore litres of used cooking oil for the production of biodiesel by 2022 through a co-ordinated action.
  2. While biodiesel produced from used cooking oil is currently very small, but a robust ecosystem for conversion and collection is rapidly growing in India and will soon reach a sizable scale.


Sources: pib.