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Gator in your tank: Alligator fat as a new source of biodiesel fuel

Date:
August 17, 2011
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Amid growing concern that using soybeans and other food crops to produce biodiesel fuel will raise the price of food, scientists have identified a new and unlikely raw material for the fuel: Alligator fat. A new article documents alligator fat's suitability for biofuel production.

Alligator. Amid growing concern that using soybeans and other food crops to produce biodiesel fuel will raise the price of food, scientists have identified a new and unlikely raw material for the fuel: Alligator fat.
Credit: Cerridwen / Fotolia

Amid growing concern that using soybeans and other food crops to produce biodiesel fuel will raise the price of food, scientists have identified a new and unlikely raw material for the fuel: Alligator fat. Their report documenting gator fat's suitability for biofuel production appears in ACS' journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.

Rakesh Bajpai and colleagues note that most of the 700 million gallons of biodiesel produced in the United States (2008 data) came from soybean oil. The search for non-food sources of biodiesel already has identified a number of unlikely candidates, including spent oil from deep fryers in fast-food restaurants and sewage. The scientists realized that alligator fat could join that list. Each year, the alligator meat industry disposes of about 15 million pounds of alligator fat in landfills.

They showed in laboratory experiments that extracted oil from alligator fat can easily be converted into biodiesel. The oil actually was more suitable for biodiesel production than oil from some other animal fats. The gator biodiesel was similar in composition to biodiesel from soybeans, and met nearly all of the official standards for high quality biodiesel.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Srividya Ayalasomayajula, Ramalingam Subramaniam, August Gallo, Stephen Dufreche, Mark Zappi, Rakesh Bajpai. Potential of Alligator Fat as Source of Lipids for Biodiesel Production. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2011; 110729082356010 DOI: 10.1021/ie201000s

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Gator in your tank: Alligator fat as a new source of biodiesel fuel." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110817094926.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2011, August 17). Gator in your tank: Alligator fat as a new source of biodiesel fuel. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110817094926.htm
American Chemical Society. "Gator in your tank: Alligator fat as a new source of biodiesel fuel." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110817094926.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

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