The Amtrak Heartland Flyer has been fueled entirely with B20 (20% biodiesel and 80% regular diesel) since April, pulling big loads between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth. Not only has it shown that biodiesel works just fine in stenuous real-life situations, it has also been honored as an innovator by Time in their 50 Best Innovations of 2010.
The biodiesel is made from rendered cattle fat and amazingly not only burns cleaner than regular diesel, it’s also cleaner than plant biodiesel.
Extensive testing in several mines shows using biodiesel is healthier for miners, reduces emissions and the equipment runs cleaner and thus needs less maintenance.
“Biodiesel emits fewer diesel particulates than conventional fuels, and when used in the underground mining operations, that translates to a safer work environment for our employees” said a mining company VP after three years of using B99 biodiesel in a mine.
Their projects include algae biodiesel, biobutanol from wheat straw in Britain, and partnering with Verenium in Louisiana using enzymes to breakdown grasses into alcohol.
Their new refinery converts grease, fat, and oil into biodiesel. What’s more, the process is cost-effective with petroleum diesel and only takes fifteen minutes.
Chicken feather meal is the leftover glop from processing. It’s used for fertilizer and animal feed and is 12% fat. That fat can be used to make biodiesel.
The process is touted as being environmentally friendly and would extract the fat from chicken feather meal using boiling water. Researchers say that removal of the fat content from feather meal makes for both a higher-grade animal feed and a better nitrogen source for fertilizer.
A staggering 11 billion pounds of chicken feather meal is created each year, which could produce up to 153 millions gallons of biodiesel a year. Maybe processing plants could burn their own biodiesel to create electricity. They’d certainly have another income stream too.