My French Fry Fuel Fix

OK folks, I think I have the answer. I think I can solve all our expensive gas woes. I honestly have NO idea why anyone hasn’t thought of this before. And I should know, being entirely uneducated in car design, or the business of running and fueling one. But hear me out. I am telling you, THIS is the answer we have been looking for.

The first step is a bit tricky. My plan requires that we run our cars on straight vegetable oil. Yeah, I know. Not exactly the quick fix you were hoping for. This step requires that we either buy cars with diesel engines (um, ok, those are super easy to find) and convert them, or buy cars already primed for biodiesel that would run entirely on vegetable oil (again, just as easy to find – but that could change with enough demand).

Now, here’s the step I am most excited about. Where do we get the bio-diesel easily? Obviously this is an infrastructure issue. We have gas stations on every corner. But we don’t have vegetable oil stations on every corner. But you know what we DO have on every corner? McDonalds! They are probably MORE common than gas stations! And can you even IMAGINE the kind of vegetable oil they go through and toss out? All we need to do is get Mickey D’s in on the plan. They just need to work it out with the bio-diesel experts and design some sort of fancy schmancy fuel pump that will process, clean and recycle their oil so that it is ready made for any bio-diesel car that runs on pure vegetable oil coming through the drive through. Do you have the visual yet? “I’ll have a big mac, a small fry and fill ‘er up.” All for $10! Brilliant, no? So, your car will smell like McDonalds. That’s a heck of a lot better than your car smelling like the regular unleaded it does now.

Ok, so I am suuuuure there are a thousand holes that someone can poke in this plan. Plus, there needs to be a huge, guaranteed demand for a new fuel system – as outside the box as this one – to actually succeed. Mega corporations across the board need to work together to make something like this move forward. Consumers need to be mentally ready: they need to trust that this will work, they have to be on board with a massive overhaul, and they need to truly understand that the gas we know and hate right now is NOT the best fuel for our cars.

And it would certainly not surprise me if the oil companies did everything in their power to undermine a massive change such as this one. You and I both know that they sit smugly in their secret lairs, with their Mr. Bigglesworth kitties on their laps, cackling evil cackles and pushing buttons to up the price of gas everywhere. After being so used to running the universe, I am SURE they’d be a bit miffed if they lost business.

But here’s my bottom line really. This idea may be impossible on many levels (I’m not sure which levels but what clue do I have) and I get that. But if we don’t start thinking up crazy ideas like this soon… if we don’t start taking our fuel crisis seriously and stop assuming “oh it will get better, gas will get cheaper, we’ll be fine”… we will never find a dependable, renewable source of energy to run our cars. Folks, being concerned about fossil fuel consumption is not for hippies and earthy crunchy types ANY longer. (Check out today’s article on MSNBC to prove my point.) THINK, people. We need to come up with something – FAST.

Until we get an alternative source of fuel and we can escape the choke hold of our current gas guzzling, money eating, gross emissions spewing, rattletraps we all own and curse, I will fantasize that one day, the car I drive, smells exactly like one ginormous french fry. Please pass the ketchup – let’s go get a clue.

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6 Comments

Filed under bio-diesel, Cars, Economy, Gas, Getting green, Renewable energy, Thinking outside the box

6 responses to “My French Fry Fuel Fix

  1. And knowing McD’s, they’ll probably sell it for like 99c on Tuesdays, or maybe you can Super Size it, or hey, can I get a shake with those fries?

    I recently moved into a Master Planned Community (sounds Borg-ish, I know) that has everything within walking distance. Thank God, because gas is $4.55 in San Diego. I have this cool beach cruiser that I love riding around on. Pedal Power, BABY! My neighbors used to laugh, but now they are asking me where I got my bike. Yeah, that’s what I thought… Our grocery store just opened up last week. Now if my therapist would move here, I’d NEVER leave.

    Okay… that might be a little Borg-ish…

  2. I’ve heard of engines that run on leftover french fry or Chinese food oil. I also read an article about a retired engineer who was making his own fuel out of vegetable oil, and his state wanted to sue him for not paying fuel manufacturing charges! Crazy! You’d think they’d be applauding his ingenuity.

  3. Great idea! I’ve heard of this too. Might make me hungry every time I drive, though.

  4. tcmom

    Sugar – Hysterical! Thats exactly what McDs would do w/ 99c Tuesdays. Very cool about your bike. I was watching MTVs The Real World (inknowiknow) and they had a laptop computer powered by a stationary bike. See, now if I could hook my car up to a bike, I could get a great work out and charge that Saturn right up!

    Damselfly – Yeah, thats where I got the idea. I’ve heard chinese veggie oil makes the best fuel too! And there’s that bus that went across country stopping at restaurants collecting their veggie oil. So it CAN be done for sure. But then if it CAN be done, why aren’t more cars running on the stuff? Is it meeting the demands? Could even the mass-production/consumption freaks at McD’s keep up with demand? Who knows. A thousand holes in my plan, I am telling you.

    Holly – I was thinking about that too. And how psyched McD’s would be having everyone craving fries.

  5. The contractor who renovated our house runs his truck on ENTIRELY grease he gets for FREE from area restaurants. They’re happy to give it away. He’s reluctant to toot his own horn for fear of competition for the supply. But seriously, what a great use of utter waste!

  6. tcmom

    Ilinap – Thats very cool. Its win-win, they want the stuff off their hands. But even he’s keeping quiet b/c he wants his fuel for free. Could we ever meet the demand if we all had cars running on it? Sidebar: I was annoyed my rolls got more expensive recently and just happened to talk to the baker at the store. He said more farmers were not growing grains but making bio-diesel and so the demand for grains was up and along with fuel costs, bread was going up. I thought that was an interesting point.

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