Cars Powered by Frying Oil Reach Athens

'Grease to Greece' expedition completes 2,330 mile trip

A group of Britons on August 27 completed a 2,330-mile 'Grease to Greece' expedition to raise fuel-saving awareness aboard cars powered by vegetable oil, organizers said.

Some of the nine cars were converted to run on purified vegetable oil while others had standard engines using biodiesel that was brewed overnight in a 'fuel pod' stored in a truck accompanying the expedition. Instead of filling up at gas stations, the expedition's 'frybrid' cars ran on used frying oil donated by restaurants and cafes along the route.

"A lot of people don't realize that biodiesel, when made properly, will run in any diesel engine," noted expedition leader Andy Pag, 34, a webcasting specialist and trained engineer, who says he got the idea in a road trip from London to Capetown with his wife three years ago.

Setting off from London on August 16, the expedition crossed France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania and arrived in Athens on August 27.

On one occasion when the team was pulled over by German traffic police, their press cuttings proved more valuable than passports, noted Pag, who last year led an expedition to Timbuktu on a truck powered by chocolate soya oil.

His next project involves circumnavigating the globe with cars running on cooking oil and a small aircraft using an aviation fuel made from plastic bags.

"It's quite geeky, essentially it's like taking the molecules apart and building a new jigsaw with them to create fuel molecules," he said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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