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In United Arab Emirates, McDonald's fuels trucks with frier oil

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Mike Blake/Reuters/File

(Read caption) A McDonald's sign is shown at the entrance to one of the company's restaurants in Del Mar, Calif., in this September 2012 file photo. McDonalds is one of the biggest companies to run some of its delivery trucks on biodiesel, Ingram writes.

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The United Arab Emirates isn't known for its aversion to fossil fuels.

The country has made its money from the stuff, and rapidly expanded in the last four decades into the vastly wealthy, oil-rich nation it is today.

Yet as of December last year, McDonalds deliverytrucks in the country have reached the 800,000-mile mark on a different sort of oil--recycled cooking oil.

100 percent of the used oil from the UAE's McDonalds restaurants is turned back into biofuel, through biodiesel producer Neutral Fuels. The fuel is left completely unblended with regular fossil fuels, making it 100 percent biodiesel.

The scheme has been running in the UAE for 17 months. As Design News reports, McDonalds is one of the biggest companies to attempt such a scheme thus far. 

In the UAE, Neutral fuels collects over 6,600 gallons of used oil per month, in trucks already running on biodiesel. Those same trucks also deliver new oil and other supplies to the restaurants.

The UAE isn't the only country the company is operating the system in. McDonalds vehicles in the UK get 100 percent of their fuel from recycled cooking oil-based biodiesel. In Europe as a whole, 80 percent of the company's waste oil is turned into biodiesel, and 37 percent of the total fleet is run on the fuel.

Even in the U.S, 75 percent of eligible restaurants recycle their cooking oil, contributing an average of 1,450 gallons of used oil every year.

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Not only does using waste oil ensure products are recycled, but it's also significantly cheaper than biodiesel made from feedstock.

Neutral Fuels estimates that up to 95 percent of biofuel production costs are feedstock--and of course, the recycling aspect means that overall impact is lower than growing crops specifically for fuel.

Not every company can access enough cooking oil to power its own fleets, but it's comforting to know that such a large company as McDonalds is prepared to make the effort--even if you're more of a Burger King fan...

[Hat tip: GeorgeK52]


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