Teen Makes His Own Fuel

Teen Makes His Own Fuel
By: Holly Brantley
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. - We're willing to bet Matt Chatman pays less to start up his truck than the majority of folks in the Heartland.
That's because this 18-year-old Poplar Bluff High School Senior makes his own biodiesel fuel in his garage.  
"When I was a kid I was always taking my toys apart and putting them back together," Matt said.
All that tinkering paid off, because he says it costs him just 60 cents a gallon for gas and he doesn't even have to drive to the gas station.
"It's really not hard," said Matt.
He adds, it's well worth it.  Especially for a family like the Chatman's with several vehicles that run on diesel fuel.
As prices rose, Matt sought out a better way for his family to fill up.
"I just went online and there were all kinds of people making biodiesel," said Chatman. "I just found a few sites with good information that showed the process step by step."
Over the past two years, Matt's perfected his own process.  He picks up vegetable oil from a local restaurant.  Then, back home in his garage under the watchful eye of his dog Buck, the work begins.
First, the oil is filtered and then processed in a water heater.  Then, Matt titrates the oil.
"Then, I've gotta let it circulate and drain.  Now, I put it in the wash tank.  Then it dries," Matt explained.
After that, it's ready to go into a barrel and into the family cars.
"I use it and my dad uses it in his truck," said Matt. "No problems, it runs good."
It takes about two days to get the oil from the restaurant and into his truck.