Alternative Fuel and Transportation

Published on October 2nd, 2009 | by Jennifer Lance


Chicken Fat Biodiesel Prevents Fuel Filter Clogs

It seems that anything can be used to make biodiesel these days. From algae to hemp, biofuels run the gamut of possibilities.  Now add chicken fat to the list of biodiesel sources.

Operating a plant in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, R3 Energy began selling chicken fat biodiesels to rural consumers this week.  The plant has been operational for three months using local feed stock.  At full production, the plant is expected to make 1.4 million gallons of biofuels a year. 

Photo by protohiroChicken fat biodiesel doesn't clog fuel filters,

Chicken fat biodiesel doesn't clog fuel filters,

Plant manager Kristof Reiter explained the benefits of biodiesel over conventional diesel to the Emporia Gazette:

Reiter said there are several advantages of biodiesel including several environmental factors. The fuel emits 50 percent fewer chemicals that cause erosion in the ozone; 48 percent less carbon monoxide; 47 percent less particle matter; 67 percent fewer hydrocarbons; and a nearly 100 percent reduction in sulfur.

In order to combat the negative effects of the “cloud point” of biodiesel, the temperature at which it congeals, R3 chicken fat biodiesel is specially filtered to protect fuel filters.  R3 explains their unique process:

R3 Energy’s industry leading cold soak filtration ensures that when the weather turns nasty, you won’t be left out in the cold. When fuel (petroleum or bio based diesel) gets really cold, small amounts of impurities group together to form micelles (little spherical balls). Often these balls stay intact even after the fuel has been warmed back up. This is a significant cause of clogged fuel filters. Our fuel is different.
Fuel produced by R3 energy is passed through state of the art solid-state filters that remove these impurities to ensure you don’t get a nasty surprise when you start you diesel up in the spring.
As of September 1st 2009, R3 Energy is the ONLY biodiesel producer in the state of Kansas to have invested in this crucial technology. This does not mean that R3 biodiesel won’t gel or freeze, but it does mean that when the temperature rises, there will not be any lingering negative effects.

My family has personally experienced the congealed effects of biodiesel, as well as the need to replace clogged fuel filters regularly. Our truck sat for three days once with frozen fuel, and now we carry an extra fuel filter in the truck at all times to prevent loss of power during warmer months.

Interestingly, in Kansas it is legal for consumers to blend biodiesel with regular diesel, so R3 consumers are given instructions on how to blend their chicken fat blend for winter weather.   Reiter recommends, “In the low 40s you don’t want to run more than 50 percent biodiesel and 20 percent in the low 20s.”

I don’t know why, but chicken fat biodiesel sounds gross to me.  If SVO smells like french fries, what does chicken fat biodiesel smell like when burned?  I also wonder if vegetarians and vegans can ethically run their cars off of chicken fat biodiesel?

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