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Monday, January 20, 2003

Running your diesel car on vegetable oil is not as whacky as it may seem. Drivers in Wales have been filling their cars with vegetable oil bought cheaply from supermarkets.

Diesel engines will run quite happily on vegetable oil and it poses a cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative to diesel, especially if recycled from your local chippy. However, tax must be paid on all fuel in Britain, or you'll find yourself in trouble with Her Majesty's Customs & Excise authorities.

John Nicholson's Bio-Power (UK) website has all the necessary guidance and tax forms, along with background information on bio-fuels ("any substitute fuel made from renewable, non-fossil, organic materials"), recipes for making your own fuel from waste fat and links for those wanting to know more about bio-fuels and how to make them (e.g. see Journey to Forever's site for recipes for bio-diesel).

Nicholson has a vision for a bio-power network of local producers making bio-power fuels from waste vegetable oil collected from restaurants, pubs, and chip shops in their local area. This could have triple benefits: dealing with a waste disposal problem, producing a non-polluting form of fuel and giving locals control over how their fuel is produced, rather than leaving it in the hands of big multi-national companies.

Bio-Power (UK) Ltd currently produces and sells two forms of bio-fuel in the North Wales area.