At Ecomondo, the Italian company Eurven, specialized in the research, design and manufacture of systems for reducing waste, showcased OILMATIK 500, a new machine for collecting and recycling used vegetable oil.
An innovative, patented sensor in the machine detects a frequency wave which recognizes different kinds of cooking oil. It uses an algorithm to compare the liquid’s characteristics to pre-established parameters to determine whether it is waste cooking oil or another substance.
Eurven’s Carlo Alberto Baesso:
“It is the first solution of its kind—a recycler that recognizes automatically, thanks to the analysis of the chemical formula by an innovative sensor, if you have entered cooking oil or other liquids and separates them into different sectors, to ensure collection quality. The oil collected is then sent to the recycling phase, resulting in a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions during waste handling.”
Eurven’s innovation comes from a concrete observation, as Mr. Baesso explains:
“Waste cooking oil is not a biodegradable food. If it reaches the water table, it can render the water non-potable or cause damage to the operation of water treatment plants. It shouldn’t be dumped in the sink or the garbage can, but should be taken to a collection center.”
Driving With Oil
One of the possible applications of recycled oil is as biodiesel. Mr. Baesso emphasizes its economic benefit:
“Easy to handle, vegetable cooking oil is worth about 50 cents per liter. If you calculate its cost as at 1.30 to 1.50 euro, it is a real resource.”
The machine was developed by Baytom, a Turkish company, and has already been distributed in the country. Eurven plans to continue development and distribute it under license in the Italian market.
Institutional clients—schools and large public utilities—are among those interested in this new-gen recycling. These include Hera (Emilia Romagna), Ama (Rome), Contarina (Treviso) and A2A (Milan). Private companies such as Dolomia and Ferrarelle have also responded positively.
Following the Path of Differentiated Incentive
Eurven follows a concept called recycling incentives. In this system, the user receives something (a new product, a discount, a credit in a local business network) in exchange for virtuous recycling behavior. The company is no using 2Pay, an app that works a bit like a “WhatsApp for payments.” Participants get one euro for the first bottle and one cent for each additional bottle deposited at an eco-compactor.