Now, cooking oil to run diesel-powered cars

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Edinburgh, May 11 : A former computer programmer has developed a process by which waste cooking oil can be converted into a fuel which can be used to run diesel-powered cars.

According to the Scotsman, Alexander MacDonald, using a simple process, converts old cooking oil into biodiesel that can go directly into the fuel tank of any diesel-powered car.

The newly developed fuel has far lower levels of harmful emissions than traditional fuel, and at 96 pence a litre, is also cheaper.

For collecting the cooking oil that would otherwise be thrown away, MacDonald visits about 100 restaurants in Glasgow.

He uses it to make about 4,000 litres of biodiesel a week, and has built up a dedicated band of about 200 customers, including taxi drivers, HGV drivers and regular motorists.

"You get two types of customer; people who are concerned about their carbon footprint and people concerned about their pocket," he added.

MacDonald learned to convert cooking fat into biofuel in his kitchen while he was working as a computer programmer.

"My kitchen was my laboratory but my partner wasn't too happy about the smell, so I got kicked out to an industrial unit," he said.

He saw the business potential, and since being made redundant 18 months ago he has never looked back.

But the first time that he put the biodiesel in his van, he was terrified about what would happen.

"My heart was in my mouth. I was expecting it to explode or to just stop, but it just went on and on and on," he said.

MacDonald has now driven 30,000 miles in the van, all powered by biodiesel.

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