The country has been rocked by a series of food safety scandals including the re-use of waste oil recycled from restaurants and called “gutter oil”, a term used in China to describe illicit cooking oil which has been recycled from waste oil collected from sources such as restaurant fryers, drains, grease traps and slaughterhouse waste. Processed gutter oil is expected to be used as bus fuel within two years , as part of efforts to advance a circular economy and prevent recycled cooking oil from returning to the kitchen.
Abengoa, the Spanish sustainable technologies company, has started operations at the demonstration plant that uses waste-to-biofuels (W2B) technology. The plant has a capacity to treat 25,000 tons of municipal solid waste (MSW), from which up to 1.5 million liters of bioethanol will be produced for use as fuel.
The demonstration plant in Babilafuente (Salamanca, Spain) uses W2B technology developed by Abengoa (7,089 million euros sales in 2012 and 90.6 million euros/year of investment in R&D) to produce second generation biofuels from MSW using a fermentation treatment and enzymatic hydrolysis. During the transformation process, the organic matter is subjected to various treatments to produce organic fiber that is rich in cellulose and hemicellulose, which can subsequently be converted into bio-ethanol.