The government of Dubai announced on Monday, February 9th that it had signed a ground-breaking agreement with Neutral Fuels LLC to run municipal vehicles with clean biodiesel fuel.
The agreement means Dubai will become the first city worldwide to formally adopt biodiesel made locally from 100% waste cooking oil for use in its municipal vehicles.
Biodiesel is a clean sustainable fuel produced by reacting used cooking oils with methanol and a sodium methylate catalyst. Industry leader Neutral Fuels has had a plant manufacturing biodiesel in the UAE since 2010, when it was the first biodiesel manufacturer licensed in Dubai.
Experts note that waste oil biodiesel results in an 80% reduction of the life cycle carbon footprint relative to regular diesel. Furthermore, biofuel also reduces carbon monoxide emissions by 40% and smog emissions by 50%.
Statement from Director General of Dubai
His Excellency Engineer Hussain Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality, said, “Dubai will be one of the world’s most sustainable cities by 2020, when the city hosts the World Expo. Our biodiesel initiative is a huge leap towards achieving this. We are pleased to take this next step with Neutral Fuels as they share our vision and have provided a solution that meets the needs of our growing city.”
Commenting on the agreement, Karl W Feilder, CEO & Chairman of Neutral Fuels, noted, “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.”
Biodiesel production demonstration
To celebrate the new agreement, Neutral Fuels set up a working demonstration in central Dubai to show how biodiesel is produced from waste oil. “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!” Feilder explained. “It’s car-free day, so the car park was going to be empty, and we thought it would be a great way to explain to a lot of people the complexity of making high quality biodiesel in clear, easy steps.”