Home Science Ecofrit: an option to turn frying oil into solid waste

Ecofrit: an option to turn frying oil into solid waste

Ecofrit: an option to turn frying oil into solid waste

Specialists from the National Institute of Industrial Technology and the company Droar have developed a biodegradable product called Ecofrit that solidifies used frying oil and transforms it into compact waste that is thrown away without contaminating the pipes. It is a product that did not exist in the country and collaborates with an environmental problem that affects drinking water.

“Ecofrit is a plant-based product that solidifies used frying oil. Once cooked, hot oil is used, this product is added and when it cools it hardens.. This allows you to remove it from the cooking container in a solid way and throw it in the trash without having to collect it in a bottle or throw it down the drain”, he points out. Paulina Lloretmember of INTI’s Laboratory of Industrial Product Formulations.

Improper oil disposal is harmful to the environment. As estimated, one liter can contaminate from 1,000 to 40,000 liters of water if it is discharged through the pipes: it generates bacteria, bad odors and clogs the pipes. Furthermore, if it reaches an open course, it reduces its oxygenation and endangers the species that live there.

For this reason, the owner of Droar Martín Briochero approached INTI with the aim of developing a solidifier for frying oils that was biodegradable, environmentally friendly and of vegetable origin. Thus, from the Laboratory of Industrial Formulations they began to seek a suitable option for the different types of oils on the market, sunflower, soy and corn mainly. After carrying out different tests, the team arrived at the final product.

The use of oil is a common practice in the country, both for seasoning and for frying. According to the Chamber of Petroleum Industry of the Republic of Argentina (CIARA), total consumption in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires alone exceeds 60 million liters per year.

Although its good management, once used, is widespread in different parts of the world, there is still a long way to go in Argentina. In 2022, a report prepared by the Faculty of Agronomy of the UBA and the company DH-SH reported that more than half of people never get their frying oil back. Only 22 percent do it regularly and the rest occasionally.

Furthermore, the research states that more than 100 million liters of used vegetable oil are discarded each year and that those most responsible for its mismanagement are the “household generators”.

Although in principle the Ecofrit is designed to avoid contamination of water courses and reduce the environmental impact, can also be used for other applications. For its part, the Laboratory’s task does not stop: advice, guarantees and developments for SMEs continue. “They approach us with a concern, mainly to improve or replace a product in the formulation, and We are looking for alternatives to enhance it”, highlights Lloret.

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