Chicken-derived biofuel set to take flight

Biodiesel could be economically produced from processed chicken innards, say scientists in Nevada.

‘Chicken feather meal’ is a gruesome by-product of the poultry industry, consisting of chicken feathers, blood, and innards processed at high temperatures with steam. 11 billion pounds of this is produced every year in the US alone.

Because of its high protein and nitrogen content it is often used as fertiliser or animal feed. It also contains up to 12% fat, which is undesirable for either purpose.

Now a process has been developed that separates the meal from the fat. While the former would be more valuable as animal and plant feed, the latter could produce an estimated 153 million gallons of biodiesel annually in the US.

If this process were used around the globe, the estimate rises to 593 million gallons.

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