This Train in Japan Runs on Ramen Soup Lard and Old Cooking Oil

The Takachiho sight-seeing train has a 30-person capacity and lets tourists have a spectacular view of surrounding rice farms, forests, and mountains from the tallest rail bridge in Japan.  | Image Credit: Takachiho Amaterasu Railway Company via Japan Deluxe Tours

Kyushu, JAPAN – An open-air sightseeing train located in the town of Takachiho in Kyushu, Japan started running on biofuel composed of old cooking oil and ramen soup lard on August 1.

The development of this biofuel came from the transportation company Nishida Shoun. According to The Mainichi, discarded tempura oil is mixed with lard from uneaten ramen soup in a 9:1 ratio, then refined with some chemicals to produce the more environment-friendly oil that does not emit black smoke.

Amaterasu Railway Co. staff pours biofuel into the first train’s engine | Image Credit: Isao Araki/The Mainichi

Takachiho Amaterasu Railway Company observed that the train engines still worked smoothly even when going uphill while utilizing the biofuel during the test runs, and unlike when running on diesel fuel, there was no strong smell of exhaust gas. Instead, the scent of stir-fried oil was emitted, like that of a Chinese restaurant’s. The cost of the new type of fuel was reported to be almost the same as that of diesel’s.

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