Saturday, May 6, 2006

Be A Part of The Alternative Fuel Revolution

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -- Mahatma Gandhi
You want to purchase one of the new hybrid fuel cars but the cost is prohibitive and there is a long waiting list.  Consider purchasing a diesel powered car or truck and converting it to grease power. 
No that's not a typo.  In case you've missed the news, you can purchase kits to convert many diesel powered vehicles to run on recycled vegetable grease.  The same grease restaurants use to fry those burgers and fries may be bad for the arteries but great on mileage and horsepower. 
If you already own a diesel powered vehicle this could be your lucky day.
Want to learn more?   Check out

Fill It Up, Please, and Check for Clogged Arteries

YORKTOWN, N.Y. --- About midway through the event billed as Greasestock, a voice boomed out, "Steve is going to demonstrate his vegetable-oil-sucking device."

This might not be guaranteed to draw a crowd everywhere, but when you have a bunch of people with cars, trucks and S.U.V.'s that run mostly on leftover grease from Chinese or Italian restaurants, it is no minor event.

And sure enough, everyone was soon looking on attentively as Steve Leung flipped a switch and a viscous stream of yellow soybean oil was slurped from a 36-gallon tank into a 5-gallon container you could use to pour vegetable oil into your gas tank.

"I don't know if it was a vision from God, but when someone told me you could run a car on vegetable oil, I knew I had to do it," said Dave Kandell of Huntington, on Long Island, whose 1985 Mercedes 300TD has lettering reading "Veggie-Powered" on the back and "Refueled at Rosa's Pizza" on a side window.

Grease Nation, which turned out about 60 people in 20 veggie-powered cars at Peter Pratt's Inn in Westchester on Sunday, remains a niche within a niche within a niche.

But with gas prices spiraling toward $4 a gallon, it's not a bad niche to be in.

After all, when the German inventor Rudolph Diesel came up with his high-compression engine in the 1890's, one of his thoughts was to run it on vegetable oil.

Drivers start a car on diesel and then switch over to vegetable oil, which can come from local restaurants or from oversize containers from discount stores like Costco.

"I've found that Italian places tend to have the best grease, and Chinese places are real hit or miss," said Don Wilson, who drove up from Philadelphia.

There are two routes to grease-dom, but both of them tend to run through Internet sites like, where people buy kits to convert diesel engines to operate on vegetable oil.

You usually get the oil free, but you have to store it in vats and filter it yourself.

So Mr. Lee, for example, has 1,200 gallons of the stuff lying around at home.

Still, the fuel costs almost nothing, it's much less polluting, and the geopolitics is right --- you get your energy from the local pizza parlor, not some Middle Eastern oil colossus.

He was the first customer for Mr. Little's conversion.

"We didn't know if it was working," he said.

"So I looked in the owner's manual and it said to confirm your vehicle is working properly on vegetable oil, go to the back of the car and smell the exhaust.

Summarized by Copernic Summarizer


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