French Fry Bus

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During the late 1970s, motorists in the United States faced a gasoline shortage. In response to this shortage, The Ohio State University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering developed a new fuel known as “Buck Fry” from dirty cooking oil from the university’s cafeterias. Buck Fry powered one of the institution’s buses during this time period, but eventually Ohio State returned to traditional fuel to power the bus.

Twenty-five years after OSU’s “French Fry Bus,” other universities began to use biodiesel fuel generated from their respective cafeterias’ cooking oils. These colleges include the University of Montana (2002) and the University of Colorado (2003). In 2003, biodiesel sold for ninety-five cents per gallon, approximately thirty-five cents per gallon less than normal diesel fuel. Diesel-powered vehicles do not need any modifications to their engines to use biodiesel fuel.

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