University of Toronto Magazine University of Toronto Magazine

The Benefits of Fast Food

Low-grade or even recycled food grease can be turned into a usable diesel fuel substitute

Deep fryers in fast food restaurants could be a great source for a new environmentally friendly and cost-efficient fuel. David Boocock, of the department of chemical engineering and applied chemistry, has developed an economical method to turn low-grade or even recycled food grease into a usable diesel fuel substitute, called “biodiesel.” In the United States, both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy have approved a blend of 80 per cent regular diesel with 20 per cent biodiesel as an official alternative fuel, and are encouraging diesel fleets to switch to it. Boocock’s biodiesel product, which can be used in any regular diesel engine, could reduce reliance on fossil fuels and harmful emissions. Working with U of T’s Innovations Foundation, Boocock has licensed the American rights to California’s Biodiesel Development Corporation and is now looking for Canadian partners.

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