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Cara Hopkins' Blog

Great Scott! Store power generator runs on used vegetable oil

Boylston, Mass.-based Owl Energy has developed the Vegawatt System, a power generator that converts used cooking oil into energy for electricity and hot water.

The company claims the Vegawatt can provide 10 to 25 percent of the energy necessary to run a typical restaurant. The system is fully automated; all operators have to do is pour used oil into the unit, which then puts the oil through a cleaning process without any additional chemicals such as methanol and lye that are used in other biodiesel. The only snag for natural foodservice stations is they may not produce enough oil—Vegawatt works best in establishments with three to five deep fryers.

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