Peanut Oil

Is Used Peanut Oil Biodegradable?

Peanut oil is a common cooking oil used around the world to fry and roast food. Peanut oil is refined from natural resources, but is it biodegradable and sustainable? We find out in this article.

What is Peanut Oil?

Peanut oil (also known as groundnut oil or arachis oil) is a vegetable-based cooking oil derived from peanuts. Any type of peanut can be used and the flavour of peanut oil can be changed by roasting the peanuts first.

Is Peanut Oil Biodegradable?

Peanut oil is not biodegradable.

Because it is an oil, it doesn’t mix with water which limits its ability to biodegrade and break down. Small quantities of peanut oil (a paper towel used to wipe up a spill) can be composted, but anything more than that will prevent your composter or compost heap from working properly.

Instead, peanut oil should be poured into a suitable plastic container and thrown into the garbage. Alternatively used peanut oil can be reused for cooking if it isn’t cloudy and doesn’t smell.

Is Peanut Oil Eco Friendly?

Peanut oil is a sustainable vegetable oil that doesn’t have the same stigma attached to it as palm oil or rapeseed oil does. It is usually grown sustainably and has a low environmental impact.

Like all vegetable oils, peanut oil can be reused as combustion engine fuel in the form of biodiesel. This is a great way to reuse old peanut oil.

Other Ways to Dispose of Used Peanut Oil

  1. Contact your local municipality’s solid waste division and ask if they have a used cooking oil recycling program. Some municipalities accept used peanut oil at their household hazardous waste collection facilities.
  2. Contact the engineering or environmental sciences department of your nearest large university. Many universities have a small biodiesel research and production program that will accept used cooking oil.
  3. Place an advert offering your used oil for biodiesel or SVO (straight vegetable oil) production in your local newspaper or online classified site. Many people across the country run converted diesel vehicles on SVO or make their own biodiesel at home and would be happy to collect and take away free oil from people in their area.


Peanut oil is perfect for frying and roasting food. Like all used cooking oil, it needs to be disposed of responsibly to avoid damaging drains and the natural environment.

Peanut oil is not biodegradable but can be reused where appropriate and is sustainable to produce.

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