UK supermarket retailer Asda is to run some of its lorries on waste from frying pans and used cooking oil.

As from January, Asda lorries of up to 40 tonnes will display slogans saying "This vehicle is powered by chicken fat". Asda lorries delivering to Tyneside and Yorkshire will be the first to start using the fuel.

Wal-Mart subsidiary Asda produces over 50m litres of used cooking oil and 138,000 litres of waste frying fat each year in its canteens, restaurants and rotisseries. The supermarket was contacted by a biodiesel firm that produces a cheaper alternative to diesel from the waste oil, and agreed to supply oil to the fuel company.

This prompted Asda into investigating the potential use of the biodiesel fuel in its fleet of lorries.

Asda recently found itself innocently involved in a police operation to halt the illegal use of cooking oil for car fuel when it discovered that its Llanelli branch was selling much more oil than at any other store in the country.

It emerged that some drivers in Llanelli, South Wales, had been running their cars on methanol mixed with Asda's extra-value cooking oil. Asda started rationing its fuel, while the police "frying squad" attempted to track down the culprits.

The biodiesel Asda will be using to fuel its lorries is completely legal but still substantially cheaper than normal diesel fuel partly due to green tax concessions. The use of biodiesel coupled with the sale of its own waste oil should lead to big savings for Asda.

The fuel is available from three garages in Yorkshire so far, with a further eight garages set to join them, reported the Guardian.