A Restaurant Problem Becomes a Solution - New York Times
THE quest for secondhand fryer oil to use as a motor fuel sometimes turns on the question of whom you know. But as some restaurant owners and managers have discovered, it is also a question of who you are and what you do for a living. Take David Selig, the 41-year-old owner of five restaurants in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Cooking flash-fried rice balls, lotus-root chips and vegetarian meatballs, his kitchens produce as much as 70 gallons of waste oil each week — sometimes more than twice the amount needed to run the Dodge Sprinter diesel van that Mr. Selig uses in his restaurant and catering businesses....
Baruch Ben-Yehudah, who runs Everlasting Life, a health food restaurant in Capitol Heights, Md., fills his 1991 Mercedes-Benz with oil that had been used to fry tofu, potatoes and vegetable patties. “It’s not just the money,” he said. “I did it because I saw what we were doing to the environment and did not want my children to see their father contributing to the problem.” And he added: “I believe in being energy independent. I do not want to give someone else power over my life.” Mr. Ben-Yehudah seems to have converted more than his car when he installed a kit from Greasel.com, which has since changed its name to Golden Fuel Systems. He became so enthusiastic about vegetable oil that he started a company, Plantroleum.com, to install conversion kits.
As he sees it, even paying full price for new vegetable oil is better than buying fossil fuel. “If I don’t have enough filtered used oil, I’ll go out and buy new oil for my car,” he said. “I can get vegetable oil for $2.45 a gallon, and diesel fuel goes for $3.09 around here — and that’s not counting the additional cost of what it does to the environment. “Vegetable oil is the perfect solution,” he added. “It’s renewable and unending.” See: Green Tech: A Restaurant Problem Becomes a Solution