A former laptop programmer is spending his days trawling around fish and chip shops amassing used cooking oil in a bid to assist save the planet.

Alexander MacDonald converts old cooking oil into bio-diesel and his enterprise has turn out to be so fashionable that throughout the latest Grangemouth oil refinery strike he sold out in 30 minutes.

Utilizing a easy process, he converts the oil right into a gas that can go instantly into the gas tank of any diesel-powered car. It has far decrease ranges of harmful emissions than traditional gasoline, and at 96p a litre, can be cheaper.

Mr MacDonald visits about a hundred eating places in Glasgow accumulating used cooking oil that would in any other case be thrown away. He makes use of it to make about four,000 litres of bio-diesel per week, and has constructed up a dedicated band of about 200 clients, including taxi drivers, HGV drivers and regular motorists. “You get two sorts of customer,” he said, “people who are involved about their carbon footprint and other people concerned about their pocket.” He mentioned it was impossible to tell the difference between bio-diesel and peculiar gasoline once it was in a automotive, other than one giveaway – the lingering scent of chips when a vehicle pulls away. “It would not matter if it’s from an Indian, Chinese language or fish and chip shop, all of it smells of chips,” he stated.

Mr MacDonald realized to transform cooking fat into bio-gasoline in his kitchen while he was working as a computer programmer. “My kitchen was my laboratory however my companion wasn’t too happy in regards to the scent, so I acquired kicked out to an industrial unit,” he stated. “It was enjoyable. It was like being back at high school and doing experiments.” He saw the business potential, and since being made redundant 18 months in the past he has never appeared back. “I turned forty and as an analyst programmer you assume, ‘where does all of it go from right here?’ I was excited by making an attempt one thing I may very well be proud of environmentally and as a profession. “I’m not of the open-toe sandal brigade however I am involved about what we’re going to leave behind for future generations.”

22:29, 29 October 2011 Petroleum distillation.png ( file )The first time he put the bio-diesel in his van he was terrified about what would occur. “My heart was in my mouth. I was expecting it to explode or to just cease, but it simply went on and on and on.” He has now pushed 30,000 miles within the van, all powered by bio-diesel. Despite the popularity of his business, referred to as Apple Fuels, he struggles to make a profit, and blames the extent of government taxation. He has to pay 17.5 per cent of his earnings in VAT, and 33.35p a litre in gasoline responsibility.

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