If you’re tired of complaining about gas prices, no matter who is doing the complaining, you may be happy to hear about a new alternative fuel. Chicken fat (tallow) is the latest product to be considered for biodiesel.
Tyson is hoping that the technology works out; corn prices increased to follow its energy-related demand, and the same thing could happen to chicken prices.
For Tyson, Ramey says, the biggest benefit of the biodiesel deals will be their impact on the market price of tallow. Ramey says that biodiesel adds a higher value use for tallow, which has been used to make other products, such as soap and livestock feed. Although you can increase the production of corn by planting more acreage, there is no way to produce more tallow efficiently, since it is a byproduct of the meat industry.
If it is not realistic for supply to be increased over time, this is a bad idea for a potential long-term source of fuel. That won’t stop the meat industry from trying to push this technology forward. The industry has seen their own expenses increase thatnks to the increase in the price of corn, which is in turn due to the product’s demand as a fuel.
I think “Mr. Fusion” is our best bet for fuel needs in the 21st century. Get to work, scientists.
Image source: protohiro
Updated January 16, 2010 and originally published July 16, 2007. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.