Sunday, January 07, 2007

Biodiesel - Chicken Power?

Two US entrepreneurs say they will spend $5 million building a biodiesel plant using chicken fat to produce fuel.
Chicken fat is an economic alternative to soybean oil – which accounts for around 90 percent of all biodiesel fuel stock, but is now increasing in price. Currently, Soybean oil costs around 72 cents a kilo, while chicken fat costs 42 cents.
Jerry Bagby and Harold Williams, through their company Global Fuels, plan to refine chicken fat and mix it with soybean oil to produce more than 13 million litres of biodiesel annually.
A nearby poultry plant will be an ideal source of the fat, which is usually shipped away to be rendered as a cheap ingredient to flavour soup as well as pet food, soap and other products.
It seems that cheap animal fats will be increasingly sought as a resource for biodiesel, and many large corporations will jump on the bandwagon.
Vernon Eidman, a biofuel expert at the University of Minnesota, estimates that within five years the US will produce 4.5 billion litres of biodiesel and that half of it will be made from animal fat. By that time, soybean-based biodiesel will account for about 20 percent of the total, he said.

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