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As awareness about the environmental impacts of fossil fuels increases, more people are looking for alternative energy sources that are kinder to our ecosystems. Some creative solutions have been found – solar power, methanol, and even liquid hydrogen, to name a few. But one of the most viable alternatives is vegetable oil, which can be processed into fuel powerful enough to operate heavy machinery.

On the West Coast, SeQuential is one of the largest collectors of used cooking oil and has partnered with Neste to transform used cooking oil into renewable fuel. We explain how cars can run on used cooking oil after it’s been processed into an environmentally friendly renewable fuel.

Is Renewable Fuel Good Fuel?

If your vehicle has a diesel engine, then it can burn renewable fuel made from used cooking oil without needing any engine modifications. By itself, however, pure vegetable oil is not a viable fuel and is much more viscous than diesel. In short, this means that it’s thicker and stickier than diesel, so it doesn’t flow as cleanly and will give the engine a hard time burning it all effectively. Pure vegetable oil can then build up in the engine, interfering with the flow of fuel and leading to stalling or burnout.

Turning Used Cooking Oil into Fuel

Luckily, there are ways to turn used cooking oil into a clean-burning, effective fuel that won’t damage your engine. Renewable fuel is produced through a hydrotreatment process. The result is an HVO fuel that has a similar chemical composition to fossil diesel. This chemical resemblance enables renewable fuel to be used in all diesel engines in up to a 100% concentration, or to be blended in any ratio with fossil diesel.

Benefits of Renewable Fuel

Once you process used cooking oil into renewable fuel, it becomes an effective and safe fuel that doesn’t damage your car’s engine. It also comes with a host of benefits over traditional petroleum. Not only is it more accessible, but it’s also better than petroleum in several other ways, including:

  • It’s less toxic. This makes it safer for workers and drivers to use, and safe for the environment.
  • It’s clean burning. Renewable fuel burns more cleanly than petroleum diesel. In fact, renewable fuel produces up to 75% fewer greenhouse gas emissions and particulates.
  • It needs less transportation. Renewable fuel is being produced domestically, so less fuel is consumed – and less gas emitted – by transporting the feedstock or finished fuel.
  • It reduces waste. Many feedstocks can be used, including used cooking oil from homes, restaurants, and cafeterias.
  • It’s renewable. Unlike petroleum, which is a fossil fuel and a limited resource, renewable fuel can be made from used cooking oil, which is renewable and reliable.

Switch to Renewable Fuel Today

It is possible to run a vehicle on cooking oil – if you process it into renewable fuel first. As a renewable and clean-burning alternative to petroleum, renewable fuel is paving the way to a healthier planet with more sustainable fuel practices. SeQuential recycles used cooking oil and Neste processes it into eco-friendly renewable fuel for West Coast drivers. To find out more, contact us today.

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