Chicken Fat To Power Air Force Jets?

In Geismar, Louisiana, a new biofuels plant is in full production, generating diesel not from corn or biomass, but from non food-grade fats and greases. Dynamic Fuels LLC is a joint venture of Syntroleum and Tyson Foods (which, we imagine, has a whole lot of left-over fryer grease and chicken fat lying around).

The first shipments of biofuels left the plant in October, and since then, according to a recent release, it has manufactured “some of the highest quality diesel fuel in the world,”  with a cloud point as low as minus 26°F and cetane as high as 88 (more than twice that of the ASTM petroleum diesel specification). This has led Syntroleum and Tyson to call Dynamic Fuels LLC “the first U.S. commercial scale advanced biofuels plant.”

Dynamic Fuels LLC--loading catalyst

image via Dynamic Fuels LLC

The next step? Renewable jet fuel, in conjunction with the Air Force Research Laboratory. This is the first renewable jet fuel to be tested by the armed forces that has been produced in a commercial scale facility located in the U.S. Tyson and Syntroleum officials are hoping Congress will restore the $1 per gallon renewable diesel tax credit that expired in December 2009, which they say would help with the economic feasibility of the operation.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.