From Food to Fuel

Above, From Food to Fuel as the lead video on's Documentary Video page.

My latest project at the Washington Post went live yesterday, it was edited and good to go a couple weeks back, but we had to wait for the reporter to finish her excellent article as well.

"Gabe Schwartzman, a high school student in Garret Park, salvages used fryer oil from a local restaurant and uses it to power his car."

Click to go to the video

Excerpt from Lori Aratani's accompanying article " 'Cool Fuel': Brew It Yourself: Teen's Basement Biodiesel Lab Not So Unusual"

Gabe Schwartzman, a tall, lanky high school senior from Montgomery County, can fill up the tank of his 1980 Volvo sedan for less than $20.

And he's happy to share his secret: "I take what would be thrown away and turn it into fuel."

Over the last several months, Gabe has been hunkered down in the basement of his parents' Garrett Park home, converting used fryer oil from a restaurant up the street into fuel for his car.

Brewing biodiesel, once a quaint hobby for green-minded citizens and budding chemists, is becoming more mainstream. The spike in gas prices is making fryer oil, the messy aftermath of super spuds and mozzarella sticks, a hot commodity. It has even spawned a crime wave. Law enforcement officials have reported a surge in fryer oil thefts. Officials suspect the culprits are finding a ready market for the waste oil.

My next project goes up late this friday night, and is a special interactive on the fireworks. I don't want to spoil the fun but be sure to check out to see it!


  1. If im in the situation of the owner of this blog. I dont know how to post this kind of topic. he has a nice idea.

  2. Thanks to the blog owner. What a blog! nice idea.