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  • Beef fat can be used to create low-waste biodiesel

Animal fat found to create biodiesel

Mar 20 2014 Read 1366 Times

Animal fat could soon be used to create biodiesel that might offer a cheaper and greener alternative to traditional petrochemicals, according to new research. 

A new report has been released that follows up on a previous study looking into the viability of using animal fat in the production of biodiesel. Results from the study were presented at the 247th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Dallas, US. 

Scientists found that it is possible to convert animal fat, which can be left over from meat processing, into biodiesel without creating large amounts of solid waste. Traditional processes for the creation of biodiesel results in large amounts of waste products. It was found that fat from pork, chicken and beef can be an effective source of green fuel and is practical for commercial implementation.

The report builds upon a previous study that looked at the possible uses of alligator fat within the biodiesel industry. This study used a batch reactor, which was switched out for a flow reactor as the work progressed in order to process the alligator fat. It was found that this reactor converted the fat into biodiesel within only a few minutes, according to Dr Thomas Junk, from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

This method would be suitable for commercial processes as it allows for the production of large amounts of biodiesel very quickly, with reactions running continuously - as opposed to batch reactors, which only convert one batch of animal fat at a time into biodiesel. Biodiesel created by this method is also very similar to traditional forms of the fuel that is produced from feedstocks but without the large amounts of solid waste, continued Dr Junk.

Animal fat can be used in its raw form, cutting out the need for any prior processing; saving money and energy. The fat needs only to be homogenised into a slurry with methanol in order to be pumped into the system, making it an easy process for fuel manufactures.

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