The Vegawatt provides restaurants' power using their leftover cooking oil
Today's featured Invention Award winner kills two birds with one stone: providing a simple and cheap alternative energy source while widening the market for delicious fried foods. Everybody wins!
The nondescript six-foot-tall box behind Finz restaurant in Dedham, Massachusetts, looks like a tool shed, but actually it's a self-contained grease refinery and five-kilowatt generator. Engineer James Peret's Vegawatt is the first all-in-one device that processes grease to continuously provide a building with electricity and hot water, heralding a significant change in alternative-fuel applications. "It's a brilliant idea," says Josh Tickell, author of Biodiesel America. "A waste stream to an energy source, with no intermediary."