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The Green Motor Oil Debate, Plus Thoughts About Synthetic vs Conventional Engine Oil

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By Jeffrey

g_oil.jpgThe gas price spike is continuing to raise higher and higher into the stratosphere, and the world is looking for any way possible to reduce our many dependencies on oil.

One solution is… cows?

That’s right, there’s a new green motor oil in town. (Or at least there soon will be.)

It’s called G-Oil by Green Earth Technologies, and it’s made from animal fat.

But is it really that green?


About a month ago the blogger at asked me,

“What do you think of the use of synthetic oil in your car/boat/ motorcycle/etc in one’s endeavors at being green?”

I have to be honest, I’d never really thought about whether or not motor oil is green.

So first, let’s get the rundown and the new G-Oil and then we’ll talk about how green synthetic motor oil is… if at all.


A Cow In Your Tank?

Over the last month or so, the green blogosphere has erupted with news — and questions — about this new green motor oil. says:

“Evidently every cow that is slaughtered generates 200 pounds of tallow, which was used for frying and making food products until the transfat panic hit. Now Green Earth Technologies is turning it into motor oil” asked the very interesting question:

“What do you think about using motor oil from beef fat? Can it ever be green (or used by vegetarians)?


CNET’s gadget and tech blog, CRAVE, weighed in as well:

“The entire line costs the same as traditional, toxic products. The recyclable packaging uses soy inks and biodegradable paper.”

Some features of the green motor oil are:

  • Petroleum free
  • Suitable for all engine types
  • “Ultimate Biodegradable” with their product, G-Disposoil
  • Made from a renewable resource: animals
  • Utilizes the waste already produced by slaughtering cattle (which is tallow)


GET’s CEO, Jeff Marshall, says:

“In 2-cycle engines, the smokeless oil reduces hydrocarbons by 32%, cuts the emissions of carbon monoxide by 48%, and of nitrous oxide by 80%”

Of course you’d have to be using Green Earth Technology’s 2-cycle G-Oil for all those 2 stroke engines.


Synthetic vs. Conventional Motor Oil

Larry West from Environment says:

“One quart of oil can create a two-acre sized oil slick, and a gallon of oil can contaminate a million gallons of fresh water […] Conventional motor oils are derived from petroleum, whereas synthetic oils are replicas manufactured from chemicals that are really no kinder to the environment than petroleum.”

Larry goes on to quote Ed Newman from AMSOIL, who says that synthetics are better as they have lower volatility and lose considerably less of their mass than conventional oil.

However, they cost nearly 3 times as much!


As NashVeggie pointed out in his email and as Larry West mentions in the above article, some vehicles like Corvettes and BMW’s require synthetic motor oil. So be sure to do the research on your individual car.

Would you consider using the new, greener, G-Oil (or maybe even a plant-based oil someday)? Why or why not?