France could legalize the use of cooking oil as fuel in a bid to tackle the cost of living crisis

We’ve all heard stories about the use of cooking oil to power diesel engines. And although you may know someone who does it in secret, it was illegal in France until now.

Last week, the French parliament voted a 20 billion euro package in response to rising inflation and potential energy shortage this winter.

Although the bills have yet to pass the Senate, one will authorize and approve the possible use of frying oil as fuel for vehicles.

According to environmentalists who lobbied for the bill, “while diesel exceeds two euros a liter at the pump”, using waste oil as fuel “brings immediate relief to the wallets of the French and limits pollution diesel engines”.

Can I fuel my car with cooking oil?

The key thing to note is that you can’t just take oil straight from your fryer and pour it into your car.

And if you’re planning on using unused cooking oil straight from the bottle, think again, it’s way too viscous and can cause problems with your engine.

It is also only suitable for diesel vehicles.

Used oil must be collected, filtered and treated before being mixed with traditional diesel for use as fuel.

The authorization is the result of an amendment tabled by MP Julien Bayou, secretary of the French Green Party. According to the written arguments of the deputy, ten liters of properly reprocessed used oil can give nine liters of fuel.

It is also believed to emit up to 90% less greenhouse gas than conventional diesel.

Does anyone already fuel their vehicles with cooking oil?

Although it is currently illegal in France to use cooking oil as fuel, there have been a few exceptions.

Béthune-Bruay, a municipality in Pas-de-Calais, has been supplying its fleet of 78 household waste bins since 2019 with fuel made from local recycled cooking oil.

The city has partnered with Gecco, a waste disposal company run by Michel Millares, which focuses on transforming waste from the food industry into local products and renewable energy sources.

Meanwhile, a group called Roule Ma Frite which has local factions across France, is collecting and distributing cooking oil fuel to its members. He has long campaigned for change at the government level.

Meanwhile, in the UK it is legal to fuel your car with cooking oil-based biodiesels. However, if you use more than 2,500 liters per year unpaid, you will have to declare it to the tax authorities.

Watch the video above to learn more about using cooking oil as fuel.