Can the grease from Big Macs and French fries be converted into gasoline to power cars?
That's what McDonald's is doing to fuel some of its delivery trucks in the United Arab Emirates, according to the Associated Press.
Earlier this week, the world's second-largest restaurant chain announced a venture with a local company that will lower McDonald's carbon footprint by converting its frying oil into biodiesel.
McDonald's said that 22,000 liters of vegetable oil from the vats in their 80 UAE stores will eventually be converted into cleaner fuel that will power its entire fleet of trucks by the end of the year.
Here's how it works:
McDonald's partnered in the new venture with the Dubai-based company Neutral Fuels, which will collect the vegetable oil used in their UAE restaurants each year.
The oil is heated, mixed with chemicals, and then ready to be used on trucks that are pre-fitted with adaptors especially designed to run the biodiesel, according to the National in Abu Dhabi.
The Neutral Fuels biodiesel factory, which is the first of its kind in the UAE, will eventually be able to convert to a capacity of 1 million liters of vegetable oil per year, reported Bloomberg.
It is also the first time that a company in the oil-rich Middle East has used biodiesel to power vehicles on this scale, reported the AP.
The UAE, which subsidizes cheap gasoline throughout the country, sits on around 7 percent of the world's known oil reserves.
"This one in particular is exciting because I don't think anyone has really tried that hard to sell this sort of fuel back to the Arabian Peninsula," Karl Feilder, chairman of the Neutral Group, told the AP. "It's the first time we are doing it with a fuel that burns 50 percent cleaner than normal diesel and has a lower carbon footprint because it's coming from a waste vegetable product."
Read more on the success McDonald's has had in the Middle East and North Africa here.