20. February 2023.
Opis (tag)
What to do with used cooking oil? 

At this time, which is marked by Carnival in Croatia, many households, as well as restaurants, make different desserts, the most famous of which are delicious donuts. It is impossible to make them without a fairly large amount of oil. When making other desserts or dishes that require less oil, the little remaining oil is easy to clean with a paper towel or cotton cloth. 

But what to do with waste cooking oil? 

It is preferable to use the oil to the maximum, which would mean using it again depending on what is being cooked. At some point, it is necessary to get rid of that same oil and refresh the cooking. Storing in a separate plastic/glass container is a temporary solution that adds that container to the waste stream, instead of being properly recycled. What many people do is pour it down the drain, but on many levels this is wrong. Oils can damage pipes and harm city sewers because oils and fats act as glue and can create greasy deposits and accumulations that are difficult and expensive to remediate. Also, when they reach the environment, they harm ecologically sensitive areas and animals. 

There are often doubts about where to go with a pot full of oil, or how to get rid of that greasy waste. It would be nice if municipalities or cities offered an oil recycling program. Some restaurants and catering establishments have the option of sending their gallons of waste cooking oil to be converted into biodiesel. 

Here are some ways to better dispose of used cooking oil 

There is the possibility of turning the oil into a hardened disc that can be

completely thrown in the trash. 

For easier disposal, “oil hardeners” that change the consistency of liquid cooking oil have already been introduced commercially as a solution to the problem of waste oil. There are several brands of oil hardening products on the market and they claim to be made with environmentally friendly ingredients. These products in the form of small particles are poured into hot cooking oil and over time harden it into a texture that is easier to remove than liquid oil. After such a mixture has cooled, the solid oil is picked up without mess and thrown directly into the trash, green waste bin, or (in reasonable amounts) the compost bin. In this way, microbes can access the waste and break it down. Videos can be found on the Internet showing how such hardeners work. 

Hardened oil can still be used in the household; for certain oilings or for DIY candles. 

As we try to be absolutely zero waste, we push the boundaries even further. If we take into account the finances and the creation of additional packaging, we can replace these products with stearic acid. 

Stearic acid is a long-chain fatty acid, produced from animal and vegetable fats, and the waxy appearance of its particles makes it quite similar to commercially available oil hardeners. Adding two to three tablespoons of stearic acid to a cup of hot oil works in a similar way, but cheaper and with less packaging, and is available in retail stores. 

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