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Circular economy Brazil 4/2/2024

Super Recolhe: From Waste to Energy

Super Recolhe is a used cooking oil (UCO) recycling project that avoids discarding a harmful residue to the environment, particularly water, and converts it to clean energy. Super Recolhe uses this residue as a feedstock for biodiesel production.

The pilot started in March 2022 with the first phase involving 10 bulk customers from bars and restaurants, with the objective to understand if Supergasbras could design an effective process to collect used cooking oil and reach a minimum viable volume to operate. The first phase was concluded in February 2023 with 1000l of oil collected avoiding the contamination of 25,000,000l of water. Supergasbras also partnered with the NGO Ação da Cidadania to distribute 500 meals to the Quilombola Community Santa Luzia, located in the pilot area (Porto Alegre – RS).

After the first phase of the project, Super Recolhe won at the Dutcham Inspire Awards 2023 in the Environment and Climate category.

One key observation of the first phase was that there was already a market established to collect used cooking oil from bars and restaurants and in the second phase, we redirected our strategy to involve our retailer partners in the project, receiving oil in dropping points at their business facilities and collecting oil from homes while delivering LPG. Supergasbras supplied all containers, marketing material and safety instructions to the retailers. This new approach resulted in less competition and more environmental impact, since people at home are the main responsible for the incorrect disposal of used cooking oil.

As a result, the second phase was concluded in January 2024 with more than 5,000l of oil collected that will be used for biodiesel production and all revenue will be used to perform social aid actions in the communities around the pilot area. The project was also delivered to the Supergasbras marketing and business team to design the expansion strategy and rollout in other locations.