Continuing the theme of vegetable oil as car fuel, I've just heard that a rally is being organised this August running from London to Athens - with cooking oil fuelling the participating cars!
Londoner Andy Pag (on the left in photo below) will head a team of 30 cars travelling across Europe in the "Grease to Greece" rally powered only by chip fat and cooking oil and begging oil from restaurants along the route.
The organisers are calling it a 'Fat-Finding' mission across Europe!
Andy says, "The idea is to see if using waste vegetable oil for long distances is practical and feasible, and to have a bit of a laugh on the way. We want to do a banger rally with no carbon footprints."
The cars will travel through Germany, Austria and Italy before following the Adriatic coast down to Greece.
The rally organisers' website explains that being environmentally friendly is just one of the advantages of using vegetable oil, running your vehicle on vegetable oil is also cheaper.
For details visit the website www.fatfinding.com
I was amazed to read the other day that thousands of people in the UK are producing their own biodiesel fuel for their cars. The incredible thing is that they are using waste vegetable oil, which would have been thrown out anyway, and it is costing only 15p per litre, as opposed to at least 1.25 UK pounds sterling that 'normal' fuel costs! If you have to buy the oil, then it will go up to 45p a litre, but that is still much, much cheaper than prices for fossil fuel.
You can make the fuel with specially manufactured processors that start from around 900 UK pounds sterling - but you should easily recover the cost in savings made over the first year of use.
In the UK, you are allowed to make 2.500 litres of fuel yourself tax-free, and I am wondering what the situation is in other countries. I feel pretty sure that here in Greece it will be pretty impossible for anyone to do likewise - there are so many rules, so much bureaucracy and I doubt if the big boys selling fuel will allow it to happen in the foreseeable future.
However, this does seem to be an ideal solution. The vegetable oil is recycled, it costs less and according to Ecotec Resources, who manufacture the processors to produce the biodiesel fuel -
Biodiesel is a perfectly suitable replacement for fossil diesel, in fact it has better lubrication qualities than fossil diesel and recent tests by Porsche on behalf of Mercedes proclaimed that the qualities of Biodiesel could extend an engines life considerably.
Aside from its better running qualities, it is, more importantly, better for the environment, biodiesel is biodegradable and non-toxic, and typically produces about 60% less net carbon dioxide emissions than petroleum-based diesel, as it is itself produced from atmospheric carbon dioxide via photosynthesis in plants.
Well, what are we waiting for ?! It should be interesting to see how this develops and what reactions will be from the large oil companies and other interested parties!