MotionECO have been awarded a grant of US$10,000 each from UN Environment to promote sustainable lifestyles in China and beyond.
As winners of the Asia Pacific Low Carbon Lifestyles Challenge in the Mobility category, Shutong Liu and Lathika Chandra Mouli will also receive business and marketing training from global experts, and pitch to win an additional US$10,000 prize to take their ideas even further.
UN Environment’s Director for the Asia-Pacific Region, Dechen Tsering, said, “Without big leaps toward decarbonizing the transport sector, we will have a tough time tackling climate change. The private sector needs to be at the forefront of this transition. Business ventures like Shutong’s and Lathika’s demonstrate the type of creative thinking and innovation we need to advance the green shift.”
Shutong Liu’s venture aims to produce biodiesel from waste cooking oil. At present, waste cooking oil -- or “gutter oil” -- in China is often illegally resold to be reused in cooking, leading to significant health issues. Biofuel produced from cooking oil is interchangeable with diesel fuel, so there is no need for vehicles to convert engines to use it. Liu, based in Shanghai, aims to connect the source of waste oil, namely restaurant chains, with final users to build a circular economy loop. Each ton of biofuel produced from waste cooking oil can reduce greenhouse gases by 2.5 tons, and also reduce emissions of particulate matter, NOx and SOx from exhaust.
Liu said, “Converting gutter oil to biodiesel is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. We reduce our greenhouse gas emissions while we eliminate a source of significant public health risks. We will need to see some policy changes to support this greener fuel, but the initial support from UN Environment will help us reach our initial target of tourist boats and buses.”