Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Fat to fuel

An upwards population of 8 billion birds are processed annually. According to University of Georgia Researcher’s, waste chicken fat can be processed into effective fuel. In larger operations the amount of waste created during processing can displace the cost of $9 millions of fuel a year. Running much like diesel or termed Biodiesel, internal fuel costs may be reduced by harvesting the energy from these fats and burning them. (Research)

The idea of making fuels from animal fat has been in the works for years now. As a substance much like corn oil after processing, this fuel runs much like its diesel and biodiesel counterparts. Its goal is to cut poultry processing costs and have a cheap simple way to utilize their waste products. With about 9 billion gallons of oil produced in the state of Georgia in one year, this market could have a reasonable impact on the oil market nationwide.

In addition to the processing of poultry fats, oils, and feathers, bedding and litter have become a possible source of energy too. Turkey Litter is running a $200 million dollars power plant in the Midwest. The poultry industry is attempting to utilize their waste products and turn them into something useful: FUEL.


K. Lutz said...

Finally this "waste" is being used for something. One can only hope that in some way this new fuel will bring down ethanol prices and in turn corn prices.

A.T.Pullen said...

I find this to be interesting on more than one level. on one hand its interesting that the waste products can be put to good use. On the other hand companies larger companies can now be completely vertically integrated, which could result in lower food prices!

C. Olkowski said...

I guess that you have to look into a situation like this with the mentality that “every little bit helps” when it comes to alternative fuels. I still for the life of me don’t understand who decided we should grow corn and soy and not eat it, rather we should render it down and shove it in our cars. Great idea if you want to ramp up food prices and degrade the environment a little more. “Lets go green here and stop using fossil fuels by clearing the forests to plant corn and stuff to save us from the guilt of ruining the natural land.” That makes a whole lot of sense. As for using animal fat to power your cars and homes, this idea seems a bit scary too. I doubt that this could ever be a really strong industrial changeover because of the underlying ethical issues of using animal fat for fuel. You would have a whole bunch of animal rights folks and vegetarians alike that wouldn’t partake if the consumption of that sort of fuel. How long would it be until we were raising production animals for their lipid content and harvesting them simply to extract the fat and grease to power our cars? The whole idea seems sketchy to me.

G. F. Barbato said...

btw ... the NYTimes has finally figured it out (regarding corn prices!!)