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GİLA BENMAYOR > Discovery to boost waste oil sector

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The waste oil sector is a substantially large sector in the world. 

In the United States 1,800,000 tons are collected annually, in Germany this figure is 150,000 tons and in Turkey the amount collected in 2011 alone was 20,000 tons. 

Out of this total 10,000 tons are collected by Ezici Oil, Energy and Biodiesel Company. The owner of the company, Mustafa Ezici, has presented some interesting figures. 

In Turkey 1,700,000 tons of oil is consumed each year. We are the third largest oil producing country in Europe because we are a nation who is fond of deep-fried fries, cakes, shortbreads, doughnuts and pastries. 

It is possible to collect 350,000 tons of waste oil from the total amount of oil consumed in Turkey. However, only 20,000 tons of waste oil is actually being collected. The rest unfortunately goes into the seas, rivers and soil through sinks and garbage. 

Indeed, the majority of responsibility in this situation falls to the 380,000 food processors in Turkey as well as domestic households.

Because of the Environment and Agriculture Ministry’s inadequate controls, waste oil is causing a huge amount of damage to the environment.

According to Ezici, who has been seen in the paper for years holding dark colored jars containing waste oil in his hands, there is no problem with major fast food brands. 

The problem lies with small enterprises. 

Ezici has been collecting half of the 20,000 tons I mentioned above since 2005.

He has set up a hotline titled “Alo Atik,” meaning hello waste. 

He exports the waste oil he collects from restaurants, homes and some municipalities to Europe. Biodiesel is produced from this waste oil just as it is produced from soya and canola oil. Europe has now mandated that one liter of fuel must contain 7.5 percent biodiesel. 

Turkey is also expected to regulate a compulsory 1 percent addition as of 2014. That means that the production of biodiesel will be more important in the coming years. 

Consequently, the aim of Ezici is to multiply the amount of waste oil collected in Turkey and produce biodiesel in Turkey rather than exporting the waste oil to Europe. 

How will Ezici increase the amount of waste oil he collects? 

A discovery made by a chemistry teacher from the central Anatolian town of Çorum comes into play here.

A chemistry teacher from Çorum Anatolian High School, Erol Tonga, has won three awards in competitions organized by the Turkish Scientific and Technical Researches Institution (TÜBİTAK). He has developed a vegetable oil waste collecting machine. 

He has given the patent of the machine to the Vegetable Oils and Fats Industrialists Association (BYSD). 

Tonga has been awarded a special prize at the Rio+ 20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development held in Brazil recently for his discovery. 

The machines will be mass produced in September and Tonga will be selling them to European municipalities. He believes that his discovery will facilitate the operation of collecting domestic waste oil. 

It will also facilitate the growth of the sector, according to Tonga. 

Ezici who is monitoring Erol Tonga’s work closely, will buy these machines in mass quantities in the coming days and will have them placed in certain spots, primarily in markets to facilitate oil collection.

July/18/2012

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