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  • 02.23.09

Biodiesel an Energetic Business in Britain

In Britain, small mom-and-pop shops are thriving by selling filtered used cooking oil as biodiesel for cars. They can sell the fuel at a discount to regular diesel because they get the grease free from fish-and-chips shops and other establishments. Besides cutting CO2 emissions, the business performs an important recycling service.

In Britain, small mom-and-pop shops are thriving by selling filtered used cooking oil as biodiesel for cars. They can sell the fuel at a discount to regular diesel because they get the grease free from fish-and-chips shops and other establishments. Besides cutting CO2 emissions, the business performs an important recycling service. Restaurant owners are legally banned from discarding their used oil in landfills; it also causes terrible clogging problems in drains, and is no longer allowed to be used in animal feed because of concerns about mad cow disease.

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Although large-scale biodiesel refinery operations begun on both sides of the pond have flopped with the price of petroleum, smaller operations seem to have hit a sweet spot. (A US example is TriState Biodiesel in the New York City area.) Sometimes finding the right sustainable business model is a question of scale.

Fish and Chips

Via The New York Times; image courtesy Jem Stone via Flickr

About the author

She’s the author of Generation Debt (Riverhead, 2006) and DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education, (Chelsea Green, 2010). Her next book, The Test, about standardized testing, will be published by Public Affairs in 2015.

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