by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Aug 22, 2011
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 and 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.
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Single, key gene discovery could streamline production of biofuels
Washington DC (SPX) Aug 18, 2011
A team of researchers at the Department of Energy's BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) have pinpointed the exact, single gene that controls ethanol production capacity in a microorganism. This discovery could be - br> in developing biomass crops that produce higher concentrations of ethanol at lower costs. "The Department of Energy relies on the scientific discoveries of its labs and research ... read more
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