Chicken-fat fuel factory to open soon

04-01-2007 | |

Two US entrepreneurs will spend US$5 million to build a new biodiesel plant that will use chicken fat as a resource for producing fuel.

Chicken fat is proving an attractive and economical alternative to soybean
oil – which accounts for around 90% of all biodiesel fuel stock, and is
increasing in price significantly. Currently, Soybean oil costs around 72 cents
a kilo, while chicken fat costs 42 cents.

Cheap animal

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 Tyson Foods poultry plant would be
an ideal source of the low-quality fat, which is usually shipped away to be
rendered and used as a cheap ingredient in pet food, soap and other

It’s likely that cheap animal fats will be increasingly sought
as a resource for biodiesel, and many large corporations are beginning to
realise this. Tyson Foods announced in November that it had established a
renewable-energy division that will be up and running this year. Perdue Farms and Smithfield Foods are making similar

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% of the total, he

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