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'Green' motor oil shipping to stores

G Oil, made from waste animal fats instead of fossil fuels, is due to reach the shelves of national retailers this spring.

A "green," petroleum-free brand of motor oil is due to appear on store shelves soon.

Green Earth Technologies said it's shipping its line of green motor oils to national retailers starting within the next month. Waste fats from cattle instead of fossil fuels are the key ingredients.

"We turn that into liquid form and use nanotechnology to have it perform in lubricant format," explained company CEO Jeff Marshall.

Diverting fat from french fries into motor oil.
Diverting fat from french fries into motor oil. Green Earth Technologies

Because the slaughter of each cow leaves behind 200 pounds of waste tallow, the company is making use of a renewable resource, he said.

"We're doing something to help because there's no longer a use for french fries and cooking products that use trans fats."

The company bills its 10W30 and 10W40 G-Oil for cars, as well as motor oils for boats, lawnmowers, and weed whackers, as biodegradable and nontoxic.

"You could spill motor oil over the back of boat--it doesn't harm the environment," Marshall said.

In 2-cycle engines, the smokeless oil reduces hydrocarbons by 32 percent, cuts the emissions of carbon monoxide by 48 percent, and of nitrous oxide by 80 percent, according to Green Earth Technologies.

The company also makes cleaning products for cars, boats, and homes. The entire line costs the same as traditional, toxic products, Marshall said. The recyclable packaging uses soy inks and biodegradable paper.

Green Earth Technologies' skunk works are developing 50 more products, including additives Marshall said he hopes could be used in airplane biofuels, which are being tested by Virgin Atlantic Airways.

With headquarters in Stamford, Conn., Green Earth Technologies has 250 employees and is traded on the pink sheets. In January it raised $2.1 million from Founders Technology and eight angel investors.

Marshall, who has worked in venture capital for three decades, said he's working with the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the American Petroleum Institute to develop a green label for a wide range of consumer chemical products.

"We'd like to create the standard for what is green, very analogous to how we created 802.11 and TCP/IP standards," he said.

Another clean tech start-up eyeing the market for eco-friendly car products is SOMS Technologies, which claims its engine oil filter could end the era of the 3,000-mile oil change.

Nano Chemical Systems Holdings announced last April that its NanOil, made from palm oils, would become commercially available. However, this writer couldn't find signs that NanOil is available or reach the company.

Some environmentalists object to the harvesting of palm oil particularly in Indonesia, which is clearing virgin rainforests for farming.