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Making biodiesel from cooking oilAt a seafood restaurant in Sausalito, Calif., they have no shortage of what could be tomorrow's fuel.
[ background ] >> Yeah, another beautiful day here in northern California, Michael. Nice weather, right by the bay, and a nice crisp glass of canola oil. >> Yeah. >> Yeah, try that. It's a nice vintage, I think you'll like it. >> That's what it is. >> A connoisseur. This place was founded by Bill Foss [assumed spelling], former Netscape exec. So he founded this restaurant called Fish on the Sausalito Harbor, but he's big into bio-diesel. So they run all their trucks on the waste from the restaurant, now that's fresh oil by the way, you'll be happy to hear. So he's really big on getting this stuff to work. ^M00:00:28 [ music ] ^M00:00:37 Now this is the part of the restaurant I like the best, where the fried stuff comes from. [ laughter ] >> And these are the fryers. >> If I could run my car on this, even better. Now two fryers, and pretty deep. How much oil is this? >> You're looking at about forty to sixty pounds per unit. >> Yeah. >> A total of thirty gallons. >> And what kind is it? >> This is canola oil. So, any idea where canola comes from? [ ding ] Canola stands for Canadian oil, something people don't know. >> Now you don't just pour this into a car, do you? >> Pretty close. Other than filtration, you're looking at pretty much a perfect form of energy [inaudible]. >> I got to see how this makes it up. ^M00:01:11 [ music ] ^M00:01:14 [ background music ] >> What you're looking at is a simple system of taking your spent vegetable oil, we'll pour it down to this top filtration system, which captures particles. It comes out of the bottom and goes into this holding tank, and then you pump it straight in your truck. Pure vegetable oil is just nature's perfect fuel. Sunlight hits the planet, takes C O two, takes the carbon and stores it in oil, takes the oxygen and we breathe it. This is the remnants of just the carbon, it's a perfect launching molecule which can be used in virtually any diesel motor. [ background music ] >> What have we got here? >> Ahh, this is one of our fishing boats right there. >> Oh really? >> That runs on bio-diesel. >> Now what's the point of running a boat on bio-diesel? >> If you are filling your boat and a drop of regular petroleum diesel gets in the water - >> Yeah. >> - you're dropping not only oil, but you're also dropping tremendous amounts of very harmful airmatic [assumed spelling], such as Benzyne [assumed spelling] and other extremely toxic - >> Okay. >> - bad stuff. This is one of our F two fifties. This has been converted to run vegetable oil, we have three of these. >> And this. Now they don't have these in the U.S. How'd this happen? >> No they don't, we had to bring this across the border. >> Now this says bio-diesel, are you running this on bio-diesel or vegetable? >> This is running on bio-diesel, an important distinction. >> Let's go talk about that - >> Yeah. >> - and go for a ride. [ background music ] >> Bio-diesel is made from vegetable oil. Major difference is in order to get a vegetable oil product to work in today's diesel without any modifications you need to thin it down to the viscosity of normal petroleum diesel. >> All right, so bio-diesel looks like diesel to an engine, you just put it in. And vegetable oil, you have to add more apparatus to your vehicle. >> Yeah, essentially you're pre-heating the fuel before you burn it. >> Do you think manufacturers are gonna start embracing bio-diesel and build bio-diesel cars that are ready to run vegetable oil? >> If you were to put into the injector system, just something that could do a flash heating of oil as it comes through, no problem. But even 2008 Ford F-250s, you'll see right in the manual it says go ahead and run 5% bio-diesel, no problem. So they're already embracing bio-diesel.