Biodiesel or Tallow?

mattgould's picture

Which is a better use of waste cooking oil and farmed animal residue, tallow for cosmetics and animal food or biodiesel?

http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/Food-waste-could-be-turned-into-fuel-100241819.html

This article features some of the pros and cons. I was surprised that the SF Green Party opposes the $15m proposed overhaul to produce biodiesel, stating "Biodiesel has high nitrogen oxide levels.  Nitrogen oxide creates ozone that creates smog, and smog is really bad for human health." I suppose the next question is how do biodiesel's nitrogen oxide levels stack up next to more traditional fuels?

It seem that using the residue for tallow is equally environmentally friendly, since demand for cosmetics requires getting the needed resources from somewhere...

Stan's picture

The Other Methods...

I find it amusing as well that the Green Party would not support biodiesel production, since it is cleaner and consumes less resources that other common methods still being used today, such as extracting oil from sand 

(http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/08/03/pm-extracting-oil-from-canadian-sand-pits/)

*edit: I posted a different link earlier by accident, so it may have confused some readers. Sorry!

As seen in the NPR report, oil sands require a large amount of resources, including water (Shell has actually depleted several water sources, causing the wildlife to migrate, or die off). To be honest, I see nothing wrong with investing in biodiesel production; it's definitely better than oil sands, since the resources needed can actually be found in your average High School chemistry class.

SF Citizen's picture

Whiskey Into Fuel?

Apparently Scottish researchers have found a way to turn whiskey into fuel: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/green/detail?entry_id=70378&type=green. "Scottish researchers have devised a way to make biofuel from whiskey — but fear not, the fuel doesn't waste the precious liquid, but instead uses byproducts of its manufacture: 'draff,' the used grains, and "pot ale," the liquid from the copper stills...The fuel produced is butanol, which produces 30 percent more energy per gallon than ethanol. Best of all, the biofuel could go straight into your car's tank, with no rejiggering required."

mattgould's picture

byproducts

I must admit I was a bit worried till I read that the fuel "uses byproducts of its manufacture." I wonder what other byproducts can be used for productive means?

Some Native American tribes pride themselves on using every bit of a slaughtered animal without disregarding any of it. Maybe we need to view our own consumption from a similar perspective.

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