Who Buys Used Cooking Oil: A Comprehensive Guide 2023

This comprehensive guide delves into the intriguing world of used cooking oil and its buyers. Whether you’re a conscientious homeowner or a business owner in the food industry, understanding the diverse avenues for repurposing used cooking oil can benefit your wallet and the environment. 

From biofuel production to soap making, discover the wide range of innovative uses that have created a demand for this once-discarded kitchen byproduct. Join us as we uncover the question: Who buys used cooking oil?

Why is used cooking oil valuable

Used cooking oil, often seen as a waste product, holds remarkable value due to its potential for reuse. This unassuming substance has found its way into various industries, offering economic and environmental benefits.

Uses of Used Cooking Oil

The applications of used cooking oil are surprisingly diverse. From producing biodiesel, which powers vehicles more sustainably, to creating renewable energy sources, this oil has transcended its kitchen origins. It’s also a key ingredient in soap production and can be employed in animal feed, showcasing its versatility.

How Used Cooking Oil is Recycled

Recycling used cooking oil involves a series of intricate processes. After collection, the oil is cleaned and filtered to remove impurities. Then, it can be transformed into biodiesel through a chemical reaction called transesterification. Alternatively, it’s utilized in anaerobic digestion to produce biogas and fertilizers.

The Environmental Impact of Recycling Used Cooking Oil

The environmental gains of recycling used cooking oil are substantial. By repurposing this oil, we reduce the strain on landfills and lower carbon emissions. The shift from disposal to recycling aligns with sustainable practices, positively contributing to the planet’s well-being.

Who buys used cooking oil?

Used cooking oil has captured the attention of various industries due to its versatile nature and potential for repurposing. Here are some of the key players in the market who actively purchase used cooking oil:

Biodiesel Producers:

Biodiesel producers are at the forefront of utilizing used cooking oil. They transform this oil into a sustainable alternative to traditional diesel fuel, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels.

Soap Manufacturers:

Soap manufacturing benefits from the inclusion of used cooking oil. The oil’s properties contribute to creating eco-friendly soaps, adding a touch of sustainability to personal care products.

Animal Feed Producers:

Used cooking oil finds its way into animal feed production. When properly processed, it becomes a nutritious component of animal diets, showcasing its potential to enhance the agricultural sector.

Chemical Companies:

Chemical companies value used cooking oil as a raw material for various chemical processes. Its composition makes it a valuable resource for producing a range of products.

Restaurants and Fast-Food Chains:

Restaurants and fast-food chains also play a role in the used cooking oil market. They generate significant quantities of this oil and often collaborate with recyclers to ensure proper disposal and potential resale.

As the demand for sustainable practices grows, the list of those interested in purchasing used cooking oil continues to expand, contributing to a more circular and environmentally conscious economy.

Biodiesel Producers

Biodiesel Producers

Biodiesel producers are pivotal players in the realm of used cooking oil utilization. This innovative approach to energy production involves converting used cooking oil into biodiesel, an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional fossil fuels.

The process starts with collecting used cooking oil, refined and chemically processed. Through a reaction called transesterification, the oil is transformed into biodiesel, a renewable fuel source. 

This biodiesel can be seamlessly integrated into existing diesel engines, reducing carbon emissions and promoting cleaner air quality.

Biodiesel from used cooking oil provides an eco-conscious energy solution and contributes to waste reduction and sustainable resource management. 

As the push for greener energy intensifies, biodiesel producers play a crucial role in shaping a more sustainable and cleaner future.

Soap Manufacturers

The collaboration between used cooking oil and soap manufacturers highlights an innovative approach to waste reduction and sustainable product creation. Soap manufacturers have recognized the value of cooking oil in producing environmentally friendly and skin-friendly soaps.

When cooking oil is carefully processed and purified, it becomes a valuable ingredient in soap formulations. Its natural properties contribute to the moisturizing and cleansing qualities of the final product. 

This integration not only enhances the quality of the soap but also reduces the demand for virgin oils, thereby conserving valuable resources.

By incorporating used cooking oil into their manufacturing processes, soap makers contribute to the circular economy, minimizing waste and promoting sustainable consumer choices. 

This partnership between the culinary and personal care industries exemplifies the creative ways various sectors can work together to achieve positive environmental outcomes.

Animal Feed Producers

Animal Feed Producers

The connection between used cooking oil and animal feed producers showcases a practical solution that benefits both the agricultural and culinary sectors. Cooking oil becomes a valuable ingredient in animal feed formulations when adequately processed.

The oil’s nutritional value is preserved through rigorous purification, making it a suitable animal dietary component. It provides a concentrated energy source and essential fatty acids, enhancing the nutritional content of feed mixes. 

This utilization reduces waste and contributes to more efficient and sustainable livestock farming.

Producers close the loop on resource management by repurposing used cooking oil into animal feed, transforming what was once considered waste into a valuable commodity. 

This collaboration between the food industry and agriculture exemplifies the potential for cross-sector partnerships to promote sustainability and minimize environmental impact.

Chemical Companies

The symbiotic relationship between used cooking oil and chemical companies underscores the versatility and resourcefulness of this often-overlooked material. Chemical companies find value in using used cooking oil as a raw material in their 

processes, contributing to economic and environmental goals.The composition of used cooking oil makes it suitable for various chemical reactions and applications. It can be transformed into a range of products, from lubricants to industrial solvents. 

This adaptability reduces the demand for traditional petrochemicals and promotes the use of renewable resources.

By incorporating used cooking oil into their operations, chemical companies are committed to sustainability and innovation. 

This collaboration between the culinary and chemical industries exemplifies the potential to create value from what was once considered waste, further blurring the boundaries between different sectors for the more significant benefit of the environment and the economy.

Restaurants and Fast-Food Chains

While known for serving delectable dishes, Restaurants and fast-food chains also play a role in the larger ecosystem of used cooking oil utilization. 

These culinary establishments generate significant quantities of used cooking oil, prompting them to seek sustainable disposal solutions and potential resale opportunities.

Collaborating with recycling and repurposing entities, restaurants, and fast-food chains contributes to the circular economy by responsibly managing their used cooking oil waste. 

Instead of discarding the oil, they can sell it to biodiesel producers or other interested parties, further promoting waste reduction and resource efficiency.

This partnership between the food service industry and the recycling sector demonstrates the evolving mindset toward waste management. 

By actively participating in the used cooking oil market, restaurants and fast-food chains embrace a more sustainable approach to their operations, aligning with growing consumer expectations for eco-friendly practices.

How to sell your used cooking oil

How to sell your used cooking oil

Selling your used cooking oil can be a rewarding endeavor that helps you dispose of waste responsibly and contributes to the more significant sustainability movement. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to navigate the process:

Collect and Store: Safely store your used cooking oil in a designated container. Make sure the oil is free from contaminants like food particles and water.

Find Buyers: Research local biodiesel producers, recycling centers, or companies specializing in used cooking oil collection. Reach out to inquire about their purchasing policies and requirements.

Quality Check: Before selling, ensure the quality of the oil. It should not be rancid or mixed with other substances. High-quality oil fetches a better price.

Negotiate and Agreement: Once you’ve identified potential buyers, negotiate the terms of the sale, including pricing and collection schedules. Be sure to have a written agreement in place.

Prepare for Collection: When it’s time for collection, have the oil adequately packaged and ready for pickup. Some buyers may provide containers or drums for transport.

Documentation: Keep records of your transactions, including the quantity of oil sold, dates, and buyer information. This documentation can be helpful for accounting and compliance purposes.

Environmental Regulations: Familiarize yourself with local environmental regulations and used cooking oil sales permits. Ensure you comply with any legal requirements.

Sustainable Practices: Consider supporting buyers who prioritize sustainable practices and contribute to eco-friendly initiatives.

Continuous Efforts: Selling used cooking oil can become a routine part of your waste management strategy. Regularly engage with buyers and maintain a steady supply.

Selling used cooking oil benefits your pocket and contributes to a more sustainable and circular economy. 

By participating in the market for repurposed resources, you become an active player in reducing waste and promoting responsible resource management.


The journey through the world of used cooking oil reveals a remarkable story of transformation and innovation. From biodiesel producers to soap manufacturers, animal feed producers to chemical companies, diverse industries have recognized the value of this once-disposed-of substance. 

The collaboration between culinary and commercial sectors exemplifies the potential for cross-industry synergy, where waste becomes a valuable resource. By understanding the multifaceted roles of used cooking oil and actively participating in its repurposing, we contribute to a more sustainable future where waste reduction and resource efficiency take center stage. 

Embracing these practices benefits our endeavors and resonates with the global call for responsible and environmentally conscious actions.


Can I Sell Cooking Oil?

Yes, you can sell used cooking oil. Many industries, such as biodiesel production and animal feed manufacturing, actively seek used cooking oil as a valuable resource.

Is Used Cooking Oil Valuable?

Absolutely. Used cooking oil holds value due to its potential for repurposing into biodiesel, soap, animal feed, and more. Its versatility has created a demand across various sectors.

Why Sell Used Cooking Oil?

Selling used cooking oil responsibly disposes of waste and contributes to sustainable practices. It supports circular economy principles and aligns with the growing focus on eco-friendly solutions.

How Big is the Used Cooking Oil Market?

The used cooking oil market has gained prominence in recent years. Its size is influenced by factors like demand for biodiesel, consumer preferences for sustainable products, and regulations promoting waste reduction.

Is Cooking Oil Profitable?

Selling used cooking oil can be profitable, especially when partnering with reliable buyers. However, profitability depends on factors such as oil quality, market demand, and local regulations.

James Foster

Writer and Editor

Hello! It’s me James Foster, the founder and chief editor of Foodies Gallery. I graduated with a degree in Business and Journalism and currently live in Texas, USA with my beautiful wife and daughter. I’m a good home chef and also a content writer. I love traveling the world and exploring different cuisines. In my free time, I enjoy enjoys being outside as much as possible with hiking, boating, and camping in the summer, skating, and skiing in the winter.

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