Animal fat used for jet fuel
New biofuels technology developed by North Carolina
State University engineers has the potential to turn virtually any fat source,
such as animal fat, into fuel for jet planes.
The technology, called Centiaâ„¢, is â€œ100% green,â€ as no petroleum-derived
products are added to the process. Centiaâ„¢ can also be used to make additives
for cold-weather biodiesel fuels and holds the potential to fuel automobiles
that currently run on gasoline.The technology has been licensed by Diversified
Energy Corp., a privately held Arizona company specializing in the development
of advanced alternative and renewable energy technologies and projects.
Dr. William Roberts, professor of mechanical and
aerospace engineering and director of the Applied Energy
Research Laboratory at NC State
, says â€œWe can take virtually
any lipid-based feedstock, or raw material with a fat source - including what is
perceived as low-quality feedstock like cooking grease - and turn it into
virtually any fuel.â€ The fuel created by the new process also burns cleaner, so
it's better for the environment, Roberts adds. There is no soot or
particulate matter associated with fuel from fats.
â€œWe produce one-and-a-half billion gallons of animal fats annually, which
is about half of the amount of vegetable oil produced yearly,â€ Roberts said.
â€œAnimal fats are harder to work with, but cheaper. Last year, for the first time
ever, fuel costs in the aviation industry exceeded labor costs. We think the
aviation industry is keen on finding alternatives to petroleum-based jet
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