Never Mind a Tiger in Your Tank: How About An Alligator?
Researchers at the Lafayette campus of the University of Louisiana are looking for green substitutes for diesel fuel. The prime one now in use is soybeans, which are used to make biodiesel oil. But soybeans are also needed for human consumption and animal feed. The United States uses 45 billion gallons of diesel a year; making just one billion gallons from soybeans would use up 21 percent of the American crop, the scientists point out.
Now the researchers think they have identified a potential source for biodiesel that currently goes straight to landfills: alligator fat, about 15 million pounds of it every year.
Alligators are grown and harvested for their meat and for their skins before the fat heads to landfills, noted Rakesh Bajpai, a professor of chemical engineering at the university. They are not endangered or threatened. (Crocodiles are, but those are not part of the researchers’ equation.)