From Food to Fuel, Keeping Vegetable Oil Out of Landfill

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From Food to Fuel, Keeping Vegetable Oil Out of Landfill

Without sounding too apocalyptic, I’ve always envisioned alterna-fuels like waste vegetable oil becoming more prominent during my lifetime. Either due to economic constraints, political implications, even blunt obviousness. Or, likely, a combination of all those factors! As the science becomes more refined, and in particular as the efficiency of output increases, these methods will undoubtedly move into the mainstream (and already are in some remote island locations). Lynne from Massachusetts writes about her family’s converted engine,

It turns a regular diesel car into a waste vegetable oil burning vehicle. My husband and I take the oil after being used at local restaurants and burn it in our vehicles. This not only saves the oil from being trucked off Cape Cod (where we live) but it helps us and some local friends lessen our dependence on foreign oil.

And diesel engine conversions are one of the more straightforward alterna-fuel methods, with kits and instructions readily available (and online user groups eager to assist!). Obviously the original vegetable oil still has to be trucked in, but with conversions available for coconut oil, soybean oil, and veggie oil, I imagine local fuel economies replacing interstate gasoline commerce in the coming decades. As such, Lynne has submitted her project to keep vegetable oil from being deposited in landfill to the Project Remake Contest – asking makers to submit ideas from would-be trash and garbage, remade into functional or aesthetic projects.

Calling all remakers, upcyclers, found object artists, and refuse miracle makers! Win a MakerBot Replicator and a trip to World Maker Faire in NYC! Submit your idea to Project Remake, presented by Schick.

8 thoughts on “From Food to Fuel, Keeping Vegetable Oil Out of Landfill

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  2. Gnuwave says:

    To imply that this keeps used oil out of landfills is misleading. Restaurants have been outright selling their used oil or receiving rebates for future oil purchases when their used oil is picked up by their supplier. With the recent rise in using it for bio diesel, it’s quite a hot commodity right now. It’s simply not a substance that has ever been taken to the landfill.

    1. Nick Normal says:

      For starters there is a difference between biodiesel and waste vegetable oil; the former is indeed made from vegetable or animal fat-based oils, but is a completely different substance than the waste vegetable oil used in a *converted* diesel engine. This is one of the main misunderstandings of waste veggie vs biodiesel. Also, I’ve personally seen waste veggie oil deposited in landfill – a shame, yes, but it does happen. Thanks for reading!

  3. Matt Cline says:

    Great info…I wanted to leave you with a video I just finished.

    – my new veggie oil video – pass it along if you like it Thanks

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I'm an artist & maker. A lifelong biblioholic, and advocate for all-things geekathon. Home is Long Island City, Queens, which I consider the greatest place on Earth. 5-year former Resident of Flux Factory, co-organizer for World Maker Faire (NYC), and blogger all over the net. Howdy!

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