Deep Fried Diesel

By: Chris Larson
By: Chris Larson

It's that boiling hot vat of oil... that makes those french fries taste so good... but not necessarily good for you.
But now imagine all that used oil... can be converted into diesel fuel to run a bus like this one from UNR.
It's not a fantasy. This bus is being topped off with 15-gallons of Bio-Diesel... made entirely from recycled vegetable oil.
Rudi Wiedemann is founder of biodiesel. He's donated biodiesel conversion equipment to the University. Chemical Engineering students will now get hands on lessons in producing a renewable energy source. It's chemically complicated, but the oil is essentially mixed with lye to help break down the oils molecular bonds. One gallon of vegetable oil produces a little more than a gallon of biodiesel. Biodiesel
is biodegradable, non toxic, and is much less of a polluter.
University buses will start out using a blend of regular diesel and 20% biodiesel. But University Provost John Frederick says the sky's the limit.
So if you ever meet Rudi Wiedemann... don't be alarmed if he asks you to smell his tailpipe. His truck runs completely on biodiesel... and indeed his trucks emissions smell a bit like a McDonald's parking lot. Wiedemann would like to help wean the world from fossil fuels.


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