Used Canola Oil Turns Dusty Paths Into Roads That Smell Like Chips

By Jordan Kushins on at

Fryer oil turns plain old potatoes into delicious chips. It powers our biodiesel cars. And, now, it's being used to turn the dusty surfaces of rural Canadian roads into stable makeshift asphalt—AND THEY SMELL LIKE CHIPS. God bless our obsession with that infernally unhealthy liquid.

It seems like slathering canola over a path that folks will be navigating in vehicles would be a Very Bad Idea, lest things get slippy-slidey and completely out of control. But according to Mark Hryniuk of Saskatchewan's Prairie Alternative Energy Solutions (via CBC News), once it's on there, the oil seeps in about an inch-and-a-half. With each successive drive, the surface continues to firm up into what Hryniuk calls "poor man's pavement." The used stuff is actually more effective than a fresher batch, so they buy it directly from restaurants once they're done with it.

In a way, this makes perfect sense. We're already using cheese brine to clear roads in Wisconsin, so it's only a matter of time until it's discovered that chicken nuggets can also double as tire studs and the fast-foodification of our thoroughfares will be nearly complete. [CBC News]

Lead image: The same road, before (left) and after (right) being treated with Canola oil. By Mark Hryniuk via CBC News