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China's illegal cooking oil, or gutter oil, made from leftovers dredged from gutters behind restaurants, has all these days been viewed as a hazard to public health and thereupon incurred nationwide crackdown. However, in another country, trash oil can be turned into aviation fuel.
The KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will purchase 2,000 tonnes of illegal cooking oil from China and transform it into aviation fuel. The Netherlands' annual demand for the oil would reportedly reach 120,000 tonnes.
Last November, the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines purchased 20 tonnes of gutter oil from Qingdao, a coastal city in China's eastern Shandong Province. The sample was then tested to show whether it could be exploited as jet-fuel.
After a string of formalities, such as Customs declaration, the waste oil bought from Shanghai will be processed into biological jet-kerosene by technicians of the Dutch airline. The 2,000-ton oil is schedule to start their "journey in the air" around mid July.
The news has brought in buzz among Chinese netizens. Some comment that the once filthy gutter oil is now "high up in the air."
Publicity for biofuel in China. An Air China 747 ran one of its engines on biofuel in a test flight in Oct 2011. Photo from China Daily.