Biodiesel goes to the birds


July 23, 2009

Which came first, the chicken or the biodiesel? Well the chicken obviously 
(Photo: The American Chemical Society)

Which came first, the chicken or the biodiesel? Well the chicken obviously (Photo: The American Chemical Society)

Scientists in Nevada have found a new and environmentally friendly source of biodiesel – “chicken feather meal”, a delightful material that consists of chicken feathers, blood, and innards made from the 11 billion pounds of poultry industry waste that accumulates annually in the US alone.

Currently feather meal is used as animal feed and fertilizer because of its high protein content. But with as much as 12 percent fat content, feather meal has the potential as an alternative, nonfood feedstock for the production of biofuel. The process developed by the researchers involves using boiling water to extract fat from chicken feather meal and processing it into biodiesel.

The research team estimates their process could create 152 million gallons of biodiesel annually in the US and 593 gallons worldwide and as an added bonus the removal of fat content from the feather meal results in both a higher-grade animal feed and a better nitrogen source for fertilizer applications.

The team’s research will be published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Via: American Chemical Society.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

Yuck, so American poultry has so far been feeding waste chicken body parts back to the Chicken and Americans EAT the resulting chicken between two slices of bread? No wonder Americans have the highest rates of cancer, obesity and whatnot.

The Reekly

@ The Reekly: This being a science-heavy site... can you quote the journals or sources of your medical opinion? We are all very interested if what you say is true or just conjecture.

Matt Rings
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