oly720man
Topic Author
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Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 7:13 am

Chicken/beef Fat As Bio Fuel

Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:25 am

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/aeronautics/features/aafex_biofuels.html

NASA have been testing suitably processed animal fats amongst other things as potential cleaner/greener/renewable fuels. Early days (and only ground tests so far) and the conclusions aren't in yet, but indications look promising in terms of lower emissions/particulates.


The experiment's chief scientist, Bruce Anderson of NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia, said that in the engine that burned the biofuel, black carbon emissions were 90 percent less at idle and almost 60 percent less at takeoff thrust. Anderson added that the biofuel also produced much lower sulfate, organic aerosol, and hazardous emissions than the standard jet fuel.


But, like all biofuels, it may solve some problems (e.g. use of animal waste and byproducts) and create others in terms of land use, resources to feed the "fuel", etc.



Lyposuction Airlines anyone?
wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
 
Clydenairways
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RE: Chicken/beef Fat As Bio Fuel

Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:10 pm

I can just see how the sticker will read on the engine cowling....

"Powered by KFC"

or

"Powered by McDonalds"

And Finaly

"Powered by our Inflight Catering Dept"
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Chicken/beef Fat As Bio Fuel

Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:42 pm

Quoting oly720man (Thread starter):
NASA have been testing suitably processed animal fats amongst other things as potential cleaner/greener/renewable fuels. Early days (and only ground tests so far) and the conclusions aren't in yet, but indications look promising in terms of lower emissions/particulates.

That must be "greener" if they're only considering the airplane side of the cycle...by the time you roll in the energy and emissions to grow/feed/slaughter/process/ship the animal in the first place, I think you'll fall off an environmental cliff.

It can't possibly be more efficient to turn corn into beef into biofuel that it is to turn corn straight into biofuel, can it?

Tom.
 
oly720man
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RE: Chicken/beef Fat As Bio Fuel

Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:17 pm

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 2):
That must be "greener" if they're only considering the airplane side of the cycle...by the time you roll in the energy and emissions to grow/feed/slaughter/process/ship the animal in the first place, I think you'll fall off an environmental cliff.

Yes, I'd expect it'll take more fuel to make it than is actually created.
wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
 
TSS
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RE: Chicken/beef Fat As Bio Fuel

Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:10 pm

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 2):
That must be "greener" if they're only considering the airplane side of the cycle...by the time you roll in the energy and emissions to grow/feed/slaughter/process/ship the animal in the first place, I think you'll fall off an environmental cliff.

It can't possibly be more efficient to turn corn into beef into biofuel that it is to turn corn straight into biofuel, can it?

All it takes to turn corn into cattle is to dry it, crack it into coarse meal, and put it in a trough where the cows can reach it.

Turning corn into ethanol requires drying it, cracking it into coarse meal, putting it into a big boiler, adding water and yeast, heating it up, and then distilling the alcohol vapors that are produced by the yeast consuming the sugars in the corn. This requires a lot of investment, both to raise the massive additional amounts of corn needed plus to convert said corn into a usable fuel via distillation which isn't a particularly efficient process in itself, especially not with corn because of it's relatively low sugar content. Sugar cane is vastly better in this respect, but it doesn't grow well enough in most of the US to be commercially viable.

Animal fat, on the other hand, is a waste by-product of the already existing meat packing industry. While I'm sure that there would be a tipping point at which cattle would be raised both for lean table meat and for fat, it would take a while to reach that point. Even at the aforementioned tipping point there's an easy solution available: Farmers could simply raise different breeds of cattle. Black Angus is the current preferred breed because they tend to be very lean, as in their percentage of body fat at slaughter is quite low, but other breeds such as Polled Herefords have much higher body fat percentages and are equally, if not more, hardy and easy to raise.

[Edited 2011-04-27 08:20:25]
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KELPkid
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RE: Chicken/beef Fat As Bio Fuel

Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:58 pm

Quoting TSS (Reply 4):
Turning corn into ethanol requires drying it, cracking it into coarse meal, putting it into a big boiler, adding water and yeast, heating it up, and then distilling the alcohol vapors that are produced by the yeast consuming the sugars in the corn. This requires a lot of investment, both to raise the massive additional amounts of corn needed plus to convert said corn into a usable fuel via distillation which isn't a particularly efficient process in itself, especially not with corn because of it's relatively low sugar content. Sugar cane is vastly better in this respect, but it doesn't grow well enough in most of the US to be commercially viable.

As I understand it, though, isn't much of the crop "slash" (the corn stalks, husks, etc) usable in the ethanol conversion process? Normally, that part is wasted in food or feed production...  

The biggest problem I forsee is that the FAA will want a definable purity grade, as they will want to know things like at what temperature will the fuel start to congeal, boil, etc, and how can you guarantee that it won't clog fuel filters after prolonged use.
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TSS
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RE: Chicken/beef Fat As Bio Fuel

Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:42 pm

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 5):
As I understand it, though, isn't much of the crop "slash" (the corn stalks, husks, etc) usable in the ethanol conversion process? Normally, that part is wasted in food or feed production...

The "slash" can be dried and used as fuel for the ethanol stills, but it can also be fed to cows while it's still green. Corn is, after all, just a remarkably large species of grass.
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