Clean Fuels outlook predicts growing supplies of used cooking oil

By Clean Fuels Alliance America | September 13, 2023

Today, Clean Fuels Alliance America released a new report assessing potential global supplies of used cooking oil (UCO) to meet growing demand for biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) through 2030. In 2022, global UCO trade reached 3.7 billion gallons, according to the report authors, LMC International/GlobalData Plc. With anticipated demand and added value from biodiesel and renewable diesel production, the supply could grow to between 5 billion and 10 billion gallons by 2030, the authors project. With additional global UCO collection, the potential supply could increase by an additional 4 billion to 7 billion gallons.

“Growing demand for better, cleaner fuels like biodiesel, renewable diesel and SAF is creating a tremendous opportunity to develop additional supplies of low-carbon fats and oils, including used cooking oil and surplus crop oils,” said Donnell Rehagen, CEO of Clean Fuels Alliance America. “Our industry envisions sustainably producing 6 billion gallons of clean fuels by 2030, and this report identifies crucial additional feedstocks. Our vision supports national goals to decarbonize aviation and other heavy-duty transportation sectors.”

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Forecast global UCO supplies to 2030

The report indicates that the United States has the most well-developed UCO collection system, due to long-standing practices for its use and disposal. In 2022, the U.S. supply reached 850 million gallons. Increasing biodiesel and renewable diesel production is incentivizing domestic use of that supply – curbing recent export trends. The report identifies additional room for growth in U.S. collection to 1.1 billion gallons.

Global UCO trade reached 1.3 billion gallons in 2022. The majority of collected UCO supplies moved from Asia to Europe. The report identifies the potential to increase UCO collection in Asia, South America and Europe to meet global demand for biodiesel, renewable diesel and SAF. Additional collection could be achieved in those countries with U.S.-style collection practices.