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"Scientists Turned McDonald's Fryer Oil Into Plastic..." Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP13 Feb 2020 10:33 p.m. PST

… Resin For 3D Printed Models That Probably Smell Amazing

"There are lots of reasons not to eat greasy deep-fried fast food, the least of which being the challenges involved with disposing of used cooking oil (clogged sewers). But researchers at the University of Toronto found a way to turn oil from a deep fryer into a light-sensitive plastic for 3D printers.

The research was recently published in the ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering journal but it started with a professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough who started dabbling with 3D printers about three years ago. He noticed that the basic molecules used to create commercially available plastic resins for 3D printers were similar to the fats used in cooking oil. That started a quest to find a source of used cooking oil from a restaurant which turned out to be none other than Ronald McDonald as a willing donor. That's not completely surprising, however, given the tremendous costs the second-largest restaurant chain in the world has to deal with when it comes to disposing of cooking oil…"


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HMS Exeter14 Feb 2020 3:13 a.m. PST

I saw something on tv a couple few years ago that it's relatively easy to adapt a standard internal combustion engine to run on vegetable oil. Of course, gallon for gallon veg oil is way more expensive than gasoline.

Some guy had adapted his car to run on veg oil, and fueled it by dumpster diving to get the used French fry oil from McDonalds.

His car ran fine, but his exhaust smelled of French fries and dogs followed him everywhere he went.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2020 3:59 a.m. PST

Surely it's the food that is plastic, not the oil.

JMcCarroll14 Feb 2020 7:58 a.m. PST

Could it be a Win Win Win?

Legion 414 Feb 2020 9:18 a.m. PST

A friend of mine's daughter is a dietician. She said after looking at what some products contained. Made a similar comment, to the effect of, with one more ingredient it would be plastic.

Of course I do think using Micky D's and other fast food eateries' old oil is a pretty good idea. Yes, a Win-Win and Win as some can turn a profit as well.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2020 9:25 a.m. PST

They were fooling around with fryer oil for diesel engines a few years ago. Every waste product is potentially a raw material: the trick is the conversion cost.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2020 11:20 a.m. PST



Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2020 11:29 a.m. PST

Yes, old diesels can run on veg oil. Used oil from chip shops and other fast food places can be free if you offer to take it away. You then need to put it through a three stage filtration process that is simple to rig up at home if you have a shed or somewhere to do it.

The engine doesn't usually need modifying. Maybe a fuel pre-heater to help with starting.

More modern diesels from the last twenty years or so won't work, though. The technology involved in making your traditional, clattery old diesel run in a quieter, more refined fashion is quite delicate and doesn't respond well to having old chip fat chucked at it!

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2020 3:43 a.m. PST

Every waste product is potentially a raw material

True. You can see how McDonald's turns into copious amounts of human fat.

I'd be loathe to ban Fast Food but surely it should be punitively taxed to cover the health costs of those who eat it.

Legion 415 Feb 2020 10:10 a.m. PST

Sadly most that come from lower incomes frequently go to fast food eateries. As it is fairly cheap and easy to get. And many fast food places are put in lower income neighborhoods.

Those that can't afford good healthcare only increase their chance of getting ill, obese, etc. By frequenting those nearby fast food places.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2020 12:06 p.m. PST



Zephyr115 Feb 2020 3:35 p.m. PST

"A friend of mine's daughter is a dietician. She said after looking at what some products contained. Made a similar comment, to the effect of, with one more ingredient it would be plastic. "

Yep, one step away from becoming a Happy Meal toy… ;-)

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2020 4:28 p.m. PST

Ralph, I don't think Fast Food is that cheap.

Buying nutritious food from a supermarket and cooking it saves money and does wonders for your health.

It's the addiction to fat & sugar that Maccas and their ilk encourage.

Ten healthy dinners for under $10 USD:


Legion 416 Feb 2020 8:28 a.m. PST

Yep, one step away from becoming a Happy Meal toy… ;-)
That maybe where they get the raw materials to make them ! evil grin

I don't think Fast Food is that cheap.

You don't have to tell me … but many low income urban dwellers, etc., seem to always frequent those places.

However, many fast food places do have a Dollar Menu.

I very rarely go to those places. I can cook healthy and so can my girlfriend … evil grin And we do.

If we do go out to eat, it is at a "nicer" place with many good healthy choices. But sometimes we do go a little off the healthier menu items … evil grin

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