It Takes a Village...or maybe a Fireman and a Warhorse

Ok, this story is sort of like a tangled maze, a torturous labyrinth...but here goes. It just happened today:

I get an am email from Warren at Landrum Fired Dept. in Landrum, SC--just a few miles from my Polk County homestead: 

"We have some cooking oil at the department we used for a fish fry if you would like to pick it up. It is sitting in the brick storage area out front of the station."

 Well, of course I want it.  Here's why:  This used cooking oil--filled with peanut and canola oils, fish oil (frying the fish has got to release some fish oil), corn meal, salt and pepper, is like gold--it powers MANY countries' fuel needs with bio-based biofuel.  Boeing has several biofuel production plants that use used cooking oil to make jet fuel. 

But there's a more personal reason I want the stuff.

Four years ago, I rented a BIG, ole Landrum building where I had my micro-plant byproduct-used cooking oil-biofuel-Multi Purpose Cleaner exploration.  My sister helped a lot. My family friend Jody helped a lot. We worked like crazy, hoping to scale and commercialize a new type of cleaner that would utilize plant material--used plant material that had low value, was usually burned, or trashed.  After transesterification for biofuel and then later saponification for soap, a used veggie oil would degrease an engine, wash a firetruck, clean bar stools and kitchen equipment,

So where's the fire department connection, you ask? 

 Landrum Fire Dept. heard about Warhorse and came looking for us, just a few miles from their station.

To make a long story short--they became our research testing team, washing their firetrucks, shop floor, gear, and taking some home to use as well. Then we got feedback and made tweaks to the cleaner recipe--one which increased the duration of the "suds" so when washing the truck, they could better see the frothy bubbles and know where they had stopped.  Then, on to fine tuning the dilutions for various applications.  

My sister and I often asked, "What if we did this?"

"Well, let's try it and get the fireman to test it."

And they did. In fact, we had other local businesses testing products for us--Mountain View Barbeque, The Hare and the Hound restaurant, Bonnie Brae Veterinarian Hospital, Cooper Riis Healing Center, horse farms, Ameri-Con and Southern Concrete.

So when I get the email this morning about the used cooking oil at Landrum Fire Department, I decided to barter for the oil by trading with some aged stock Warhorse Multi Purpose Cleaner that I still had in my private stash--the local, home grown stuff.

The Multi Purpose Cleaner in the pic was made from the byproducts of plant oil left over from plant based biofuel made from used cooking oil from Landrum Fire Dept., Gowensville Baptist Church, and the American Red Cross--there's something about a fundraiser fish fry, obviously.

It's a good barter: used cooking oil for firetruck cleaner.  This oil is going to help stock the Polk County High School Biofuels science course so they can keep exploring green chemistry.

Good trade, I say.  What goes around comes around.