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14 Fueling Your Car With Leftovers

From: Pat Maxwell
Series: November 2006 - Isla Earth Radio Series
Length: 01:34

Leftovers could make a significant contribution to the future of alternative energy.

Photoscollage_small As oil and gasoline get more expensive, people are considering biodiesel as an alternative fuel. And something that you may be avoiding in your diet could become an important source of biodiesel: Animal fat. Tallow, or rendered animal fat, is cheaper than oil. In Brazil and Australia, tallow is being tapped for diesel engines and plant boilers. And Tyson Foods, the Arkansas chicken processor, uses tallow to power its boilers and the trucks in the company?s fleet. Large quantities of tallow are left over when beef cattle are processed, and it contains lots of energy. In the 1970s, researcher Ralph Sims demonstrated that it?s relatively easy and cheap to refine tallow so that it can be used in engines. The world produces 100 million metric tons of fats and oils. Most of it is used for human consumption, but the leftovers could make a significant contribution to the future of alternative energy.

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Piece Description

As oil and gasoline get more expensive, people are considering biodiesel as an alternative fuel. And something that you may be avoiding in your diet could become an important source of biodiesel: Animal fat. Tallow, or rendered animal fat, is cheaper than oil. In Brazil and Australia, tallow is being tapped for diesel engines and plant boilers. And Tyson Foods, the Arkansas chicken processor, uses tallow to power its boilers and the trucks in the company?s fleet. Large quantities of tallow are left over when beef cattle are processed, and it contains lots of energy. In the 1970s, researcher Ralph Sims demonstrated that it?s relatively easy and cheap to refine tallow so that it can be used in engines. The world produces 100 million metric tons of fats and oils. Most of it is used for human consumption, but the leftovers could make a significant contribution to the future of alternative energy.

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