Economic feasibility of biodiesel production from waste cooking oil in the UAE

Mohammed Noorul Hussain, Tala Al Samad, Isam Janajreh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The absence of proper collection methods for waste cooking oil (WCO) particularly in residential areas make the tendency to drain it and clog the sewage stream or dispose of it into the trash bin the only unfavorable choices. Therefore providing an integral residential collection mechanism, incentive or penalty system, inexpensive and robust conversion technology into utilizable fuel, and downstream community usage would change this in environmental malpractice stress and valorize this energy opportunity. The focus of this work is to study the economic feasibility of biodiesel production from waste cooking oil in the UAE, subjected to seven economic scenarios. To provide statistical information on the quantity and quality of generated WCO, a social survey was conducted. The local residential and commercial sector was targeted to gain information on the type of oil, method of drainage and quantity of waste cooking oil. A comparison can be made between conventional and sonication methods of production and results are assessed based on the selling price, net present value (NPV) and internal rate of return (IRR). As sonication assisted production is suited for high throughput, it demonstrated better profitability despite of its higher CAPEX and OPEX. Results also indicated that large scale production favored reduction in selling prices and subsidies. The auxiliary benefits like CO2 emissions were calculated and it shows a reduction of 23.1% in emissions and reduces in maintenance cost associated with the current drain clogging. The conclusion that can be drawn is that large scale production with sonication and no oil incentive is the most economically feasible model for the UAE.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)217-226
Number of pages10
JournalSustainable Cities and Society
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • Biodiesel
  • Carbon emission
  • Economic study
  • IRR
  • NPV
  • Transesterification


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