In the annals of bureaucratic outrages, David Wetzel has been the target of a real mind-bender. Wetzel is a chemist from Decatur, Illinois, who retired from a food-industry job 18 years ago and now, at 80, spends a lot of his time demonstrating the benefits of running cars on used frying oil. He has an ’86 VW Golf diesel that alternately runs on diesel fuel and used vegetable oil. In 2006, he put 15,000 miles on it and got 46 mpg, half of that on vegetable oil that he gets free from a veterans’ post after Friday-night fish fries in Decatur. So Wetzel’s fuel savings are considerable. And he says the average passerby couldn’t even tell the car is a veggie burner—it switches between the fuels almost automatically, and there are no unsightly fuel lines cluttering up the cabin or oversized oil jugs in the VW’s back seat. In short, it doesn’t look a bit like Doc Brown’s jury-rigged DeLorean in Back to the Future. Wetzel keeps busy showing it at schools and gatherings of renewable-energy types and has driven it great distances—to New Mexico—without a hitch. His first veggie experience was with a VW diesel pickup five years ago,… Read full this story
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