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How to power a plane with leftover Chinese hot pot

25 Feb 2023 · 3 min read

Editor's Note

The aviation industry is facing pressure to source greener fuels. In 2016, a start-up began exporting leftover grease to Europe, where it would be recycled into airplane fuel, Bloomberg reports.

There’s a ritual involved in creating the perfect Sichuan hot pot and it involves fat — lots of it. Diners first immerse slivers of meat in a spicy soup rich in molten animal tallow, then dip each morsel in a plate of vegetable oil, before finally devouring it. It’s a rich delicacy, one that produces about 12,000 tons of waste oil each month in the Chinese city of Chengdu alone.

So in 2016, a startup began exporting some of that leftover restaurant grease to Europe and Singapore, where it gets recycled into fuel pure enough to fly airplanes.

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