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Crime Idle

Biofuel Thieves Steal Restaurant Grease 165

Posted by samzenpus
from the going-green-red-handed dept.
TMB writes "In a move that The Simpson's foretold, thieves have begun stealing inedible kitchen grease for use in biofuels. From the article: 'It's known as inedible kitchen grease, or IKG, which was once deemed waste and used in animal feed, though now is "an elixir in the booming green economy," according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture. "The grease’s value as a biofuel is being increasingly recognized," the agency said last month. "IKG is now coveted, which makes it a target for theft.."
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Biofuel Thieves Steal Restaurant Grease

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  • by potscott (539666) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @06:05PM (#38006140)
    It's incredibly easy to convert an old VW diesel to run on kitchen grease. The trickiest part is keeping the viscosity down so you can pump it to the engine, but there's plenty of kits out there with in tank heaters for colder regions.
  • by Tastecicles (1153671) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @06:24PM (#38006342)

    FTFS: it's not the restaurants that are reporting this, it's a Government Agency. If they were so hot on biodiesel as an alternative to drill diesel they'd be making it illegal to make your own and making nightly runs between restaurants and large privately owned refineries (with such original names as "Shell", "Halliburton", "BP", Texaco"...) and selling the stuff at the same price as regular. The problem for them is it's insanely easy (and relatively inexpensive) to make your own diesel, it'd be as difficult to regulate as alcohol (see: prohibition) and would likely as not spawn an underworld of diesel bootleggers armed with Thompsonsmaybe.

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @06:34PM (#38006450) Homepage Journal

    It's incredibly easy to convert an old VW diesel to run on kitchen grease. The trickiest part is keeping the viscosity down so you can pump it to the engine, but there's plenty of kits out there with in tank heaters for colder regions.

    Mechanic on my two previous cars was running a Mercedes diesel on bio fuel. He had some setup outside his house, which processed cooking oil into fuel. Initially he had no trouble finding local restaurants who were happy to give away their used oil (rather than pay for disposal.) Not so available anymore, people are willing to pay for it now.

    In other news [chicagotribune.com], there's a flight recently by a jet powered by biofuel - mostly for promotional reasons as the jet requirement came in at about g/$17 as opposed to g/$3 for petrol jet fuel.

  • New trend... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jakartus (1287248) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @07:52PM (#38007316)
  • Biofuel Thieves? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mpaladini (2504322) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @09:07PM (#38007948)
    I was making Biodiesel back in 1996 when Josh Tickell was driving his Veggie Van across the country making big news. Frankly that was the death knell for us as individuals who made their own BioDiesel. I went for years without ever buying a bit of fuel for my car. All the restaraunt folks called me MacGyver and marvelled at my Diesel Mercedes that smelled like french fries. Once BioDiesel caught on as a commercial idea, the recyclers that used to charge the restaraunts for taking the grease started paying for it and locking the restaraunts into "Contracts", and putting locks on the grease containers. It is now a crime to take any grease from a "Griffin Industries" grease tank (the major recycler here in Tennessee), and because of the contracts, the restaraunt can't even give it to you before they put it in the tanks. The contracts are worded such that once the grease comes out of the fryer, it is the property of the recycler. Once something becomes commercially viable, the individual is screwed. I ended up selling my fuel proccessor and getting out of it because I couldn't get any waste oil/grease. The recyclers pay way more for it in order to discourage us from buying it directly from the restaraunts, at least they did back when I was doing it. It may be different now that have run us all out of making our own fuel. In addition, the price of the chemicals went through the roof as well so now your cheaper off to buy dino-diesel, at least if you were doing it for cost reasons. Back in the 90's I was making a 50 gallon batch of BioDiesel for about 50 cents a gallon. Whats happening now I suppose is that some of my brethren are taking it from the grease tanks at restaraunts. Of course now the recyclers can burn you at the stake for that since they can nail you for larceny, transporting biowaste, etc. And they will nail every one they catch to the wall just to make an example of them because they know that there is a lot of us out there. I saw the writing on the wall and refocused my energies towards electric vehicles, solar, geothermal etc. At thats not against the law... Yet....

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