I was talking with a couple friends about a month ago about alternative fuels. One point I brought up was biodiesel, and how it pollutes less and one could easily get it from your local fast food restaurant.
One friend pointed out that if the entire country switches to biodiesel, we would be in the same bind we are in now. That's a valid point! But the point I was making, was that biodiesel, in conjuncture with other fuels (like hyrdocells, solar, etc powered cars) will spread the demand on any one specific resource. (Granted, some resourses are a little more limited than others).
Also, the point my friend brought up got me thinking. With allot of the fast-food joints (if not all of them) get their products delivered to them in big semi-trucks to their location.
Correct me if I'm wrong, the big rigs run on diesel. And any diesel engine can run on biodiesel (some engines you may need to tweak a little to get it to where it can run on biodiesel).
I was thinking that if these fast food joints would have a mini-station, where they would convert their throwaway cooking oils into biodiesel, they would be able to refuel their entire fleet at a much reduced cost! AND any excess they have left over from refueling their delivery truck, they could sell off to other biodiesel users. (if the location allows it, sell it to other truckers).
I know, grand idea, maybe not so practical the last part. But think about it. Fast food joints pretty much THROW away their oils (i.e. pay someone to haul away their oils somewhere), and if they can reuse that oil to refuel their delivery fleet, think about how much it would help conserve all that oil waste (think about how many McDonald's there are just with in the continental US, let alone the world. And that's just ONE fast food restaurant).