Scientists extract biodiesel from alligator fat.
(PhysOrg.com) -- In addition to being a novelty food, alligators could also provide a feedstock for biodiesel. Every year, the alligator meat industry disposes of about 15 million pounds of alligator fat in landfills. Now scientists have found that oil can be extracted from the fat and used to make a high-quality biodiesel.
The researchers, Rakesh Bajpai and coauthors from the University of Louisiana, have published their study on the possibility of using alligator fat as fuel in a recent issue of the American Chemical Society journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.
In 2008, the US produced about 700 million gallons of biodiesel to help supply some of the 45 billion gallons of diesel consumed that year. Most of the biodiesel came from soybean oil. Due to concerns that using food crops to produce fuels will raise the price of food, scientists have been investigating alternative feedstocks, including sewage sludge, Chinese tallow, and used vegetable oil.
By showing in experiments that oil extracted from alligator fat meets nearly all of the official standards for high-quality biodiesel, the Louisiana researchers have added another feedstock to the list.