UL engineers have identified a novel source stock for biodiesel: alligator fat. Their findings appeared in the Journal of Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, published by American Chemical Society.

Researchers Srividya Ayalasomayajula, Ramalingam Subramaniam, August Gallo, Stephen Dufreche, Mark Zappi, and Rakesh Bajpai published data showing that oil extracted from alligator fat is easily converted into biodiesel, and that the oil is actually better for biodiesel production than other animal fats, as the gatordiesel is similar to biodiesel from soybeans. The end product also meets most of the standards for high quality biodiesel.

Louisiana and Florida lead the US in the size of their alligator populations. Every year, the alligator meat processing industry disposes of about 15 million pounds of alligator fat, generally into landfills. The alligators are harvested from the wild and domestic alligator populations for their skin and meat.

Read the full text article here.

Potential of Alligator Fat as Source of Lipids for Biodiesel Production
ABSTRACT: A large amount of alligator fat (AF) is produced by alligator meat processing industry and disposed in landfills or discarded as waste. The AF can be used as a potential feedstock for biodiesel production due to its high lipid content. In this work, recovery of lipids from the AF tissue was studied by solvent extraction as well as by microwave rendering. Microwave rendering resulted in AF oil recovery of 61% by weight of the frozen AF tissue obtained from producers. The fatty acid profile of the lipid showed that palmitic acid (C16:0), palmitoleic acid (C16:1), and oleic acid (C18:1) were the dominant fatty acids accounting for 89–92% of all lipids by mass; 30% of the fatty acids were saturated and 70% were unsaturated. The biodiesel produced from AF oil was found to meet the ASTM specifications of biodiesel concerning kinematic viscosity, sulfur, free and total glycerin, flash point, cloud point, and acid number.

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