Gator Fat Could Make Biodiesel

Cindy Zimmerman

Once upon a time, an oil company used the slogan “Put a Tiger in Your Tank.” Someday, it could be “Put a Gator in Your Tank.”

Scientists have identified a new and unlikely raw material for biodiesel in alligator fat, according to a research published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.

Researchers at the University of Louisiana showed in laboratory experiments that oil extracted from alligator fat can easily be converted into biodiesel. They say the oil is actually more suitable for biodiesel production than oil produced from some other animal fats. The gator biodiesel is similar in composition to biodiesel from soybeans, and meets nearly all of the official standards for high quality biodiesel.

Alligator fat is a byproduct from the alligator meat processing industry, which each year disposes of about 15 million pounds of alligator fat in landfills. The alligators are harvested from the wild and from alligator farms for their skin and meat. Louisiana and Florida account for the highest populations of alligators in the United States.

Read more about the research here.

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