FAME from animal fats and oils (AFME)


Animal fat methyl ester (AFME) is biodiesel produced from animal fats and oils. The animal fats and oils are derived from wastes, e.g. in slaughter, processing and disposal businesses. For epidemiologically reasons, these fats and oils must be disposed of properly - e.g. by use with or without pre-treatment as fuel.

The raw materials used are animal by-products from the categories below (European Regulation (EC) No 1069/2009 laying down health rules for animal by-products not intended for human consumption, which has been amended by Directive 2010/63 / EU).

  • Category 1 (high risk) material according to Article 8 of Regulation (EC) No 1069/2009.
  • Category 2 material (medium risk) as defined in Article 9 of Regulation (EC) No 1069/2009 (with exceptions).
  • Category 3 (low risk) material according to Article 10 of Regulation (EC) No 1069/2009 (with exceptions).

The term AFME excludes used cooking oils (UCOs), which come into contact with animal constituents during the cooking process and may therefore contain low levels of fats and oils of zoogenic origin (36. BImSchV (Ordinance on the Implementation of the Biofuel Quota Regulations ) § 9 (4)). The raw materials (UCO or AF) in Germany must be provided with different waste code numbers to avoid confusion and misuse.

Analytics of AFME

The distinction of fatty acid methyl esters from zoogenic and vegetable sources is usually carried out on the fatty acid spectrum. The peculiarity is that in FAME from animal fats, the methyl ester of margaric acid (C17:0) and partly of heptadecenoic acid (C17:1) occur, which are virtually absent in FAME on vegetable oil basis. The proportion of uneven fatty acid methyl esters in pure AFME is typically between 0.5-1.5%.

Data on levels of C17:0/C17:1 in UCOME, which may contain animal fats and oils, and UCOME blends with other FAME of plant origin are currently not available. In both cases, it can be assumed that the content of C17:0/C17:1 would only have to be detected in the small 0.1% range.

Use and possibility of crediting in Germany

§§ 37a - d of the BImSchG (Act to protect against harmful environmental effects caused by air pollution, noise, vibration and similar processes ) regulate the use of biofuels, their definitions and the eligibility for the greenhouse gas quota in Germany.

§ 37b of the BImSchG specifies the definitions and eligibility of biofuels. Section (8) items 1-4 specify which fuels cannot be counted towards the fulfilment of obligations under § 37a (1) sentences 1 and 2 in conjunction with § 37a (3) and (4) (greenhouse gas savings to be achieved). Under item 3, 'biofuels made wholly or partly from animal oils or fats' are classified as such fuels.

It follows that biofuels which are wholly or partly made from animal oils or fats, according to § 37b BImSchG cannot be credited on the fulfilment of obligations under § 37a (1) sentence 1 and 2 in conjunction with § 37a (4) BImSchG and thus also not on the German GHG quota.

Statement of the German Government

The Federal Government replied 2011 to the inquiry whether the exclusion of all biofuels of zoogenic origin from counting against the greenhouse gas quota should be maintained:

Member States are not required by Directive 2009/28/EC to promote any type of biofuel. Rather, the Member States have their own discretion to implement the directive, which can be taken into account when considering other (e.g. waste management) aspects. In 2006, the German Bundestag decided by § 37b of the Federal Immission Control Act to only apply biodiesel from animal fats to the biofuel quota transitionally until the end of 2011. The background to this regulation was that animal fats were already fully used in other sectors (including oleochemicals, feed industries) without subsidies and that these recovery routes should not be affected. This initial situation has not changed in the meantime. The increased use of animal fats in the biofuel sector is expected to increase the need for the other sectors mentioned above to use uncertified palm oil to meet their raw material needs.