Tsuno Makes Esters from Used Cooking Oil


Tsuno Makes Esters from Used Cooking Oil
Macro texture view of used cooking oil. © taffpixture

A Japanese chemical company announced the launch of fatty acid esters made from used cooking oil.

Tsuno Group said such products can reduce competition for food crops while also cutting use of petroleum products to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

“By promoting the highly effective use of non-edible vegetable oil resources, for which demand has been increasing in recent years, we are contributing to the improvement of the biomass content of products and the realization of a decarbonized society,” the company said in a July 25 new release.

Esters are manufactured by combining alcohols with fatty acids and can be made from petrochemicals or materials derived from plants or animals. The lubricant industry’s use of esters has grown steadily for the past couple decades. Some of the more common plant sources are oil palm, rapeseed or canola and soybeans, all of which are also food sources.

Tsuno, which is headquartered in Wakayama, Japan, is primarily focused on supply of oleochemicals and fine chemicals derived from processing rice bran and rice bran oil, which is a popular cooking oil. The company said it is working to become more sustainable by finding ways to recycle the material after use.

Used cooking oil is used as a few in some places, but Tsuno indicated that it considers that a less preferable way of recycling.

By using waste cooking oil, which is a valuable domestic raw material, as a raw material for industrial products, we can contribute to improving the biomass content of products,” the press release stated. “Based on the idea that burning waste cooking oil as fuel is the last resort, we are making efforts in research and development so that it can be used in various industries by utilizing the organic synthesis technology that we have cultivated to create new forms.”

The company said in the news release that among its new fatty acid esters products, one with a low viscosity and high flashpoint will be usable as a base oil for cutting oils or as a diluent for various base oils. A second ester will be usable as an emulsifier for plastic working oils. A third, more complex ester, using dimer acid derived from waste cooking oil, will be characterized by a high viscosity and will be ideal as an additive for processing oils and lubricant oils, the company said.

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