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Out of the deep-fat frier and into the ... gas tank?

An engineering professor is looking at the possibility of processing food-service waste oils into bio-diesel fuel.

It burns cleaner in vehicles, creating less smoke, less carbon monoxide, and less unburned hydrocarbons than regular diesel fuel, says Prof. Jon Van Gerpen of Iowa State University. Some trucks already run on 100 percent soybean oil rather than the typical blend of 20 percent bio-diesel and 80 percent diesel, he adds. A plant in Hawaii already operates on processed restaurant waste oil.

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