Reasonable Green

Just a girl, trying to be a better steward of the Earth, while still driving a car and living an otherwise mainstream, twenty-first-century consumer life. She thinks you can be "green" and reasonable. Here is her blog.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Teenage Wasteland

Photo Courtesy Fry-o-Diesel
Samples left to right, raw trap grease, grease after it's been filtered but before final dewatering, and Fry-o-Diesel's final biodiesel fuel. Cool!

About 5,000 North Americans (hello, Canada!) have converted their diesel cars or trucks to run on vegetable oil. Some drive straight-vegetable-oil (SVO) vehicles, while others use alternative biodiesel fuels.

Do-it-yourselfers can convert a diesel engine to SVO for about $1,000, including the cost of tools.

I recently read a cool article about a man who converted a 1981 diesel Mercedes to SVO for his son. He needed another car and decided he wanted one that could be run on waste oil. He fuels up for FREE by taking unwanted waste oil off the hands of local restaurants. Disposing of waste oil properly is an added expense for businesses, so they're happy to hand it over!

That's where the work of a firm like Philapelphia's Fry-o-Diesel could come in handy. Funded in part by a Pennsylvania Energy Harvest grant, Fry-o-Diesel is collecting waste oil that would otherwise end up incinerated or dumped down drains (bad!), then filtering and processing it to produce biodiesel. This is still a test project, so the fuel isn't for sale, but Fry-o-Diesel hopes to demonstrate the feasibility of converting restaurant trap grease to heating oil and biodiesel.

For more information, visit the Fry-o-Diesel Web site, or listen to a cool NPR story about them while it remains available here.


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