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An innovative business model: turning domestic used cooking oil into renewable “fuel” for education and entrepreneurship

Project description

Cooking oils fuel a novel recycling programme helping schools and the environment

Households use tremendous amounts of cooking oil globally. Researchers from ISOTECH, an established research and consultancy firm in Cyprus, created ‘Tiganokinisi,’ literally ‘the frying pan movement,’ to collect used oil at schools and recycle it into advanced biofuels. Through ‘Tiganokinisi’, which is supported by the Cypriot government, schools receive the profits from the sale of used cooking oil and use them towards green programmes and infrastructure. The programme teaches kids about recycling and sustainability while supporting school infrastructures and contributing to the collection and recycling of a valuable resource. With the help of the EU-funded InnovOleum project, ISOTECH will develop a ‘Tiganokinisi’ template for other countries to follow through a licensing and franchising scheme including consultancy services and start-up funding.


Used cooking oil (UCO) is an excellent feedstock for advanced biofuel production. In fact, the market for the conversion of used cooking oil (UCO) from the hospitality sector into biodiesel is well established. However, even though around 854,000 tonnes of used cooking oil is produced from households in Europe, the extremely promising market of domestic UCO is generally untapped. In Cyprus, this market gap is being addressed by an innovative project that, through a solution-oriented approach, has proven that a harmful waste can be transformed into a source of income and innovation for the most vulnerable groups of our society: children and unemployed youth. Project “Tiganokinisi” makes schools the collection hubs of domestic used cooking oil, with each student bringing oil from her/his household and neighbourhood. The profit from the sale of the UCO is returned to the school for the implementation of green technologies and infrastructure. The entire initiative is tightly coupled with educational innovation (formal, informal and non-formal education). The project, which overcomes several of the obstacles previously identified in domestic UCO collection and which can become self-sustained within 5 years, promotes resource efficiency and environmental protection, while creating jobs in a niche market of the green economy. It helps Member States meet several EU targets related to the Waste Framework Directive, Resource Efficiency and Renewable Energy. It has therefore attracted the attention of NGOs around Europe and the world. There is international interest to replicate its success, and therefore there is a business opportunity. As such, ISOTECH, aims to develop a “blueprint” that will allow the replication of Tiganokinisi in other countries, through a licensing/franchising scheme that will begin with the implementation of a bundle of consultancy services and support for setting up the project.

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Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00
Keryneias 95 , Ground Floor, Aglantzia
2113 Lefkosia

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Κύπρος Κύπρος Κύπρος
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 71 429,00