Terms we own: UCOME & TME

5 February 2024

By now you probably know that of all the renewable feedstocks we trade and supply, Used Cooking Oil is one of the sustainability Big Five. UCO is widely used as a raw material for the manufacturing of biodiesel. After treatment UCO is called UCOME (Used Cooking Oil Methyl Ester). It is just one variant of biodiesel produced from UCO, but demand is big enough to give it its own Terms We Own blogpost. Only for this occasion, here we textually blend it with the potent biodiesel derived from animal fat: Tallow Methyl Ester or TME.

The sustainable biofuels UCOME and TME, the resulting methyl esters from UCO and tallow, are popular among blenders at the fuel plants attributed to the fulfillment of EU RED II, the required transition to biofuels derived from waste. Both esters contribute to speeding up the energy transition by providing more sustainable alternatives to traditional fossil fuels. Here’s how each of them contributes:


Waste Utilization: UCOME is produced from used cooking oil. By utilizing used cooking oil to produce biodiesel, it helps in recycling and repurposing waste materials, reducing any further environmental impact.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Compared to fossil fuels, biodiesel derived from UCOME generally has lower greenhouse gas emissions. It helps in mitigating climate change by reducing the overall carbon footprint associated with transportation fuels.


Renewable Source: TME is made of animal fat, specifically from category 1 and 2 fats. It’s recognized as Annex IX-B waste and residue with a GHG saving typically above 88%. The process involves transforming this animal fat into methyl esters, which is a type of biodiesel. This conversion typically occurs through a chemical process known as esterification, where the animal fat reacts with an alcohol (often methanol) in the presence of a catalyst.

Reduced Dependence on Fossil Fuels: Using TME as a biodiesel reduces the reliance on conventional diesel derived from fossil fuels. This helps diversify the energy mix and decreases dependence on finite and environmentally harmful resources. All good there.

In general, both UCOME and TME speed up the energy transition by increased availability of biofuels, which are derived from renewable resources and surely are more environmentally friendly than traditional fossil fuels. However, we never cease to search for other effective renewable alternatives and more Green Value on our mission to energize the future of fuel.

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