Deep fried flying

I’ve never much thought there was much usefulness to waste vegetable oil used for automobile fuel, as there is a much more finite amount of waste frying oil available compared to petroleum. Ditto for chicken fat powered aviation. Would you want to fly on a plane that is chicken fat powered? Personally, it seems clucking ridiculous.

I just wish NASA would stick to space exploration.

Chicken Fat Fuel Emissions Look Cleaner, Greener

emissions detection equipment set up behind NASA's DC-8 flying laboratory during ground tests

An emissions detection rake device is positioned behind the No.3 engine on NASA’s DC-8 flying laboratory during ground tests of an alternative jet fuel made from chicken and beef tallow. (NASA / Tom Tschida) NASA recently performed emissions testing on alternative, renewable fuels for a greener and less petroleum-dependent future. The search for alternative fuels is driven by environmental concerns as well as a desire for reduced reliance on foreign sources.

“Renewable” means that the fuel source isn’t some form of fossil fuel. The source could be algae, a plant such as jatropha, or even rendered animal fat. In late March and early April 2011, a team at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in California tested renewable biofuel made from chicken and beef tallow in one of the four engines of a DC-8 airplane.

The airplane remained on the ground during the test, known as the Alternative Aviation Fuels Experiment, or AAFEX, while aeronautics researchers measured the fuel’s performance in the engines and examined the engine exhaust for chemicals and contamination that could contribute to air pollution. It was the first test ever to measure biofuel emissions for nitrogen oxides, commonly known as NOx, and tiny particles of soot or unburned hydrocarbon – both of which can degrade air quality in communities with airports. NOx contributes to smog and particulate matter contributes to respiratory and cardiovascular ailments.

“The test results seem to support the idea that biofuels for jet engines are indeed cleaner-burning, and release fewer pollutants into the air. That benefits us all,” said Ruben Del Rosario of NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Ohio. Del Rosario manages NASA’s Subsonic Fixed Wing Project, which sponsored the experiment through the agency’s Fundamental Aeronautics Program.

Emissions detection equipment set up behind NASA's DC-8 flying laboratory

View full size photoResearchers check out emissions detection equipment set up behind NASA’s DC-8 flying laboratory during ground tests of alternative biofuels derived from animal fats at the Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif. (NASA / Tom Tschida) The team ran one engine using Hydrotreated Renewable Jet Fuel, or HRJ, and another engine using Jet Propellant 8, or JP-8, fuel, which is very similar to the industry standard Jet-A fuel used in commercial aircraft. They also ran one engine using a 50-50 blend of the two fuels.

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. Researchers will spend the next several months comparing the results and drawing conclusions.

The recent test came a little more than two years after the same team used the same airplane to test two synthetic, or man-made, fuels derived from coal and natural gas. Researchers found that the synthetic fuels significantly reduced particulate emissions at all engine power settings and also saw some smaller reductions in gaseous emissions at certain engine operating conditions.

“NASA Dryden was excited to contribute to the study of alternative fuels for aviation use,” said Frank Cutler, NASA’s DC-8 flying laboratory project manager. “The results of these tests will tell us a lot about emissions generated by modern turbine aircraft engines using these fuels,” Cutler said.

The test setup involved positioning the DC-8 at Dryden’s Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif., surrounded by ground support equipment, emissions sensors, and test equipment trailers to house the researchers and observers.

The AAFEX tests in 2009 and this year were funded through NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in Washington.

The experiments included investigators and consultants from private industry, other federal organizations, and academia. In all, 17 government, industry and academic organizations participated in the recent test.

› View DC-8 Image Gallery

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72 thoughts on “Deep fried flying

  1. I hate to be pedantic (well, I love to really), but “much more finite’ is nonsensical. ‘Finite’, like ‘unique’ is one of those absolute thingies, it either is, or it is not.

  2. “Would you want to fly on a plane that is chicken fat powered?”
    Fat lambs could be next on the list for “renewable” fuel. But are lambs really “renewable”?

  3. I can see so many funny comments being made, especially regarding the chickens (chickens per mile?). I am at a loss to think of a good one right now, though, which annoys me!

  4. All of that just to find out that synthetic fuels that have no sulphur in them have lower emissions of … sulphates…
    Take any fat or plant oil. Dump it through the hydrotreater at your local refinery. Crack or reform as needed to get the length chain desired. Put in turbine… just like any other naphtha, kerosene, or light oil… because it IS just like any other.
    If you do the “home brew” style and make an ester out of it, it’s just like the regular stuff only with a higher melting point (so not as good at cold high altitudes unless you turn on the fuel tank heaters). It’s a little oxygenated too. That’s about it.
    All known at least a decade ago.
    So why are these clowns being paid to do all this to show what’s already known?

  5. or even rendered animal fat
    Won’t be allowed, unless they can get the fat without killing Chicken Little or Ferdinand the Bull.
    How will this idea get past the lentil munching sock and sandal wearing looney vegans?

  6. Regardless of emmisions, any alternative has to be able to be produced in enough bulk to actually BE an alternative.
    MOST IMPORTANTLY, this needs to be produced without affecting world food supplies.
    I am all for using whatever WASTE materials we can to produce fuels, but at the moment I can forsee a solid possibility of problems arising from the use of food growing land for providing biofuel. Unfortunately, once it becomes more financially profitable to produce fuel than food, poorer countries could easily find themselves with deep shortages of food. One way to force population decreases, I suppose. 🙁

  7. ….the source could be algae, a plant such as jatropha, or even rendered animal fat…..
    Yeah, and pigs might fly.

  8. How much energy will be required to turn all this bird fat into dependable fuel for airplanes? BTW, isn’t fat a hydrocarbon and won’t it produce CO2 just like JP4? Also, just think of the fun we’ll have hunting whales for their blubber again.

  9. @Andy G55:
    There is no shortage of food in the world. Starvation is all about distribution, not production, and is usually limited by political issues, not economic ones. For example, the southern Sudanese who where starving to death for a few years. UN was ready to deliver food. North Sudan would not let them. North Sudan had the money and guns, south sudan did not. Oh, and the north was Muslim while the south was Christian…
    The classic problem in agriculature is excess production crashing prices. Still is.
    FWIW, there are many tons of used cooking oil (UCO in the vernacular) that go to land fills every year. Better to put it in engines… Better still to just drill Alaska and use real petroleum…

  10. Anthony, NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This is part of what they do, when they were still NACA they helped build the X-1, X-3, X-4 and X-5 test beds. And NASA got involved again with the X-24, X-29, X-30, X-36, X-48 and the X-53. These are all clearly aircraft testbeds, with a few having potential space applications (I’ve left out the projects that were dedicated space test beds).
    Even today they use aircraft to test for example aerodynamics. It’s not something that gets a lot of headlines, but it has always been a part of their research.
    So your comment of “I just wish NASA would stick to space exploration” misses the mark a bit.

  11. All of the Earth, including the USA, is full of oil and gas accumulated during the planetary formation. It is simply a layer of lighter than metals and molten rock material floating on top of the magma.
    Hydrocarbons are the most ubiquitous compounds in the Universe. Atmospheres and underlying oceans of Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus, not to mention some of their moons as large as Titan, are made mostly of hydrocarbons. Barring rare anomalies (where volcanic activity brings magma to the surface, and where collision of tectonic plates squeezes oil and gas to the sides) there is an global ocean of hydrocarbons beneath our feet.
    Unfortunately, practically all parties involved in oil and gas production and taxation — totalitarian socialists (a.k.a. “environmentalists”), oil-exporting corrupt regimes, large corporations in cahoots with governments, refiners, distributors, futures traders and, of course, the Academia, slavishly kowtowing to these sponsors — are vitally interested in high oil prices.
    Hence the “peak oil” scaremongering and “biogenic oil” pseudo-scientific dogma: we are being had, as usual since before the Pyramids were built.

  12. Did they say if it smells better than aviation spirit?
    Interesting to see what happens when this “flying laboratory” actually, well, flies.
    What happens to beef tallow when it gets really cold?

  13. Ninety years ago (and no, I don’t remember it myself), on the West Coast of Africa, a ship was a Steam Canoe and a lorry was a Steam Horse. Later, an aircraft was (and still is to some of us) a Steam Chicken.

  14. Will a beef tallow Boeing 747 be welcome, flying into Delhi?
    How about a Pork fat burning plane heading into Riyadh or Tehran?
    Might be interesting.

  15. @E.M.Smith says:
    Yep, At the moment there is plenty of food capacity, just distribution balance issues.
    I am just concerned that the climate hysteria may preclude people in control actually considering that food supply is an issue.

  16. No fossil fuels were used in the feeding, rearing, rending and transportation of said chickens.
    /disclaimer

  17. Put a big funnel under each windmill, the windmills will kill the birds which drop in to the funnel, then into a pot of boiling water heated by the electricity from the windmill. Then draw off the fat using a series of gravity drip tubes like in a Maple sugar forest to a final filtering station and then put it in drums and ship it to NASA. Cheaper than batteries faster than turpentine.
    Free energy!

  18. Christopher Hanley says: April 26, 2011 at 11:56 pm
    “….the source could be algae, a plant such as jatropha, or even rendered animal fat…..”
    Yeah, and pigs might fly.

    Finally, a use for all that jatropha growing in my yard.
    I guess we could use pig fat. I suggest trying it in Air Force One.
    You could tell when the Prez is in town, because the whole airport would smell like bacon.
    That might make him unwelcome in muslim countries, though.

  19. What’s the matter, don’t these guy have any real scientific endevour to pursue?
    Wasting their time on such inconsequential rubbish surely qualifies them for the much sought after NASA award (Not A Scientist’s Ar****le).

  20. How many chickens must you cold press to get enough virgin Gaia friendly oil to run a 747 for one 24 hour flight schedule? Goodbye KFC.

  21. Why are NASA wasting money rehashing old science? Everything in this article has been known for decades.
    There are rumours that NASA scientists are working to perfect this round thing they have invented which makes it real easy to move stuff around, but they can’t quite decide on a name for it – roundie is the favourite right now. Oh, yeah, and they think it might work better if the periphery of the ’roundie’ was cushioned by fitting a round rubber boot sole sorta thing. They’re working on it right now, and they envision a whole raft of great inventions to go with it. Like stopper-things, and shaft-through-the-middle-to-rotate-on thingies, up-and-down-suspender things, there will be no end to the amazing stuff they can come up with.
    Sheesh! 🙂

  22. A friend of mine has got an old Land Rover which has an equally ancient Cummins diesel engine. He runs it on a mix of about 30% diesel fuel and 70% vegetable oil. The vegetable oil is usually waste oil from fish and chip shops (smells great when he drives by!) but he also uses new oil. New vegetable oil from the shops costs around 94 pence per litre, diesel fuel is now over 140 pence per litre at the pumps.
    The only problem which my friend has is that it is illegal here in the UK to fuel your vehicle in this way. Why? Because the tax man is not getting his cut by way of the exorbitant taxes levied on motor fuels.

  23. I thought you guys had budget problems, and yet you have money to throw around at this ludicrous research?
    Bollocks* I say!
    * Anthony I see your trip downunder embellished your vocabulary 🙂

  24. NASA seems to have too many overpaid people hanging around with nothing else to do but think stupid things. Like the Muppet Show.

  25. Uhm! Earth to NASA…..Wouldn’t this have been better tested with a single CFM-56 engine in test cell? Preferably an engine that is due an overhaul, not the “in-service” engine hanging on your wing. And what if the chicken fuel burned up the hot section? An experiment like this doesn’t require the entire DC-8 unless your bandstanding. Cha-Ching!

  26. Bulldust says:
    April 27, 2011 at 1:47 am
    Bollocks I say!
    ………………………………
    Now, now…. No need for the “fowl” language.

  27. ““Renewable” means that the fuel source isn’t some form of fossil fuel.”
    First time I hear that definition. So nuclear is also renewable all of a sudden?
    I hope Greenpeace got the memo.

  28. In the 737-200 vs 737-800 there is a difference in fuel consumption at cruise throttle. Take-off fuel burn/6.82 # gal numbers go way up especially if there is some ‘noyse’ abatement mandate. Weight of aircraft and distance per 1000 feet of elevation influence the pounds per minute of burn to give 7,000-20,000/hour for take-off. There might need to be the transportation of all the chicken fat oil delivered to a single point to fill one aircraft. This must be the break-through to perpetual motion.
    Henry Ford and others in the early 20th century and later worked on selling the notion that ethanol was a viable replacement for fossil fuels. Diesel being cheaper than kerosene and gasoline won the struggle between man converting raw corn fuel vs the black gold.
    Technology does allow some improvement here and there in utilization of chicken fat. There were start on gasoline switching to fuel oil-nearly chicken fat tractors in the 19 00’s forward that could burn this chicken fat with only a gauze sheet filter during fill up. Not very smoke stack air-clean but darn cheap. In the forty’s the geniuses in German engineering technology had aircraft piston/diesel engines at the development stage. Perhaps if subsidizing is in the wind, small farmer-tractors would be a better placement for this new fuel as the pounds per hour is a small fraction of one aircraft.
    NASA has reintroduced today’s grant utilization process to advance those long years ago conclusions. No camshaft small diesel engine development technology would have been a better allotment for this grant, although not PC.

  29. The missing piece of this story is the fact that the demand from the biodiesel industry on WVO and other vegetable and/or rendered fats raises those products prices–in an unnatural way, much like subsidies to farmers growing corn for ethanol. The market affected is the livestock industry which uses these “waste” oils and fats as feed enhancer.
    Yep, we all now pay more for our food because people feel good about using KFC’s old oil in their engine.

  30. So let me see if I have this right. We are all supposed to become vegetarians to save the planet and then we can raise livestock to power transportation. It just boggles the mind.

  31. NASA seem to have lost the plot, or they do not know what is going on in the real world. Pop along to any margarine maker and he will produce this tuff for you by the bucket load. So we have biofuel for cars, now airplanes, hee, what are we going to eat?
    Palm oil derivatives would be good, until someone runs a container ship on it. Tax dollars going up in smoke.

  32. @Redneck – “We are all supposed to become vegetarians to save the planet and then we can raise livestock to power transportation.” — pretty good sum up.
    So what, then, do we do with all that “waste meat and skin”?!? I smell barbeque!
    But no, really, I’m adhering to the vegan ideal, commissar; it’s just that we don’t want to waste any part of poor Foghorn or Bessie. Gaia wouldn’t like that — you want sauce on that rib, commissar?
    🙂 mmmmm

  33. This story is so stupid….back in 1986, I worked with Tyson Foods in their efforts to have filtered chicken fat from rendering approved by the EPA for use as boiler fuel (worked great!). Fish rendering plants in Newfoundland have used rendered fish oil for boiler fuel forever.
    Chicken fat is not sustainable, ain’t enough to go around….they only burn the low-quality, rancid stuff. High-quality “yellow grease” is used for animal feed formulations.
    It will either be petroleum or don’t fly at all. I wonder how much money was wasted on this sideshow.

  34. Syntroleum/Tyson formed Dynamic Fuels to convert waste animal fats into hydroprocessed fats and oils. There are various names for these products, HFO, Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene (SPK), Hydroprocessed Renewable Jet (HRJ), Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA), and for diesel fuel, 2nd Generation biodiesel or Green Diesel. Names aside, all these “Green Fuels” are paraffinic hydrocarbon fuels that are chemically similar. For jet fuel, they are about to be approved for blending with conventional jet fuel at up to 50% with some constraints such as minimum aromatics content of the blended fuel. All of this is covered in ASTM D7566 in NA and DefStan 91-91 in the rest of the world (91-91 was just recently changed to include the use of synthetic blend components).
    Having been in this field since 1999 and essentially started this effort with the military, I have a significant background in these fuels. What this article fails to say is that these exact emissions benefits attributed to syntheti jet fuel derived from chicken fat are also available from Coal-to-Liquids and Gas-to-Liquids fuels made by the Fischer-Tropsch process, but from abundant alternative resources to crude oil. This is truly the alternative fuels that we should be developing.
    Chicken Fat to Fuel is limited to very small quantities relative tot he true need for fuel. A 5,000 bbl/day plant like Dynamic Fuels claims they have is a drop in the bucket compared to the nearly 20,000,000 bbl/day that the US consumes. And that one plant uses most of the available waste chicken fat that Tyson will sell. They sell fats and oils from their processing to many other companies, so there is competition for these fats, and using them for fuel is not a very economic market as fuels are always the lowest value home for materials like this.
    What we truly need is to use all our domestic energy sources to make drop-in hydrocarbon fuels and stop producing fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel that do not fit into the existing and efficient energy distribution infrastructure. CTL and GTL processes can produce a significant amount of the energy the US needs to reduce our dependence on imported energy. I would recommend that we convert power generation to nuclear, which is well adapted to this use, and use coal and NG for fuels production. NG can be used directly as a fuel in some situations, and can be converted into liquid transportation fuels in other situations. Economics should drive these decisions, not the government.
    Regards,
    Bob

  35. NGC predictions
    National Geographic Channel has a show called aftermath about the world without oil. It portrays a liberal environmentalists dream. The population is on bicycles, the huddled masses desperate for food. The voice used for the narration is by any measure depressing.
    Refugees from the cities leave on foot in snow. Astonishingly they find a use for the rifle to hunt for food. From the bolt it looks like an SKS. Emergency vehicles run on ethanol and on streets where it is raining, no snow. The hundreds of millions of animals killed on highways are no longer killed and flourish. Many people return to a simpler way of life with people growing their own food and using candles.
    They jump 10 years, the fuel for space rockets is too expensive so the satellite service is of no use as the world turns to alternative power. Bolivia becomes a super power because of its lithium. Ships run on fuel from plants while oil tankers are scrapped. Then 40 years after oil goes the skies are clearer and parking lots are used to plant food. Vehicles are small golf cart size and powered by electricity. Mankind is now recovering from the lack of oil. Unless I missed it they did not mention wind power. The show was a promo for bio fuels.
    National Geographic in decades ago ran articles on actual life and conditions now they concentrate on fiction by predicting a fanaticized future based on something imagined and not proven.
    The next show was swallowed by the sun.

  36. @E.M. Smith
    Matt, you were doing well until you had to drop in this kind of stuff. Gave permission to Mike McMillan to have a go too.
    For example, the southern Sudanese who where starving to death for a few years. UN was ready to deliver food. North Sudan would not let them. North Sudan had the money and guns, south sudan did not. Oh, and the north was Muslim while the south was Christian…
    South Sudan is regarded as around 66% Animist, 17% Muslim and 17% Christian. John Garang’s conversion to Christianity along with his militia probably changed the balance a little. The strife between herder and farmer tribes, John Garang’s separatist movement and political/financial interference from US Christian missionaries such as Pat Robertson and the lawful central government directly impacted on distribution of food. Just as a reminder, here is a snippet from Anthony’s Policy page. (Oh. And I’m Muslim but from the South).
    Certain topics are not welcome here and comments concerning them will be deleted. This includes topics on religion, discussions of barycentrism, astrology, chemtrails, 911 Truthers, HAARP, UFO’s, mysticism, and topics not directly related to the thread.

  37. Once again, food stuff being turned into fuel.
    Didn’t we learn this lesson with ethanol? Turning food into fuel causes food shortages.

  38. This is one of the reasons why Russia has won ths space race and USA (lost) has no manned launch capability.

  39. I believe all the good lines are taken. Chicken power makes me crave wings; unlike the vegans that are killing the village to save the planet; fuel the 747 with something else Paul McCartney
    [d]

  40. Anthony, Do you have a better use for all the waste vegetable oil, animal fat, and meat-rendering by products? Little by little, more and more of that waste is converted to fuel each year in the U.S. Fuel from vegetable oil has been tested in combat and passenger aircraft. Now this. Next they’ll test the fuel from the solid waste that comes from beef, pork and chicken packing plants. Do you actually have a well thought out objection, or is this just an anti-intellectual “drop in the bucket” dismissal?

  41. Dr. bob wrote: What this article fails to say is that these exact emissions benefits attributed to syntheti jet fuel derived from chicken fat are also available from Coal-to-Liquids and Gas-to-Liquids fuels made by the Fischer-Tropsch process, but from abundant alternative resources to crude oil. This is truly the alternative fuels that we should be developing.
    That is something that I agree with. Nevertheless, something has to be done with all of America’s agwaste, and converting it to fuel is the best idea so far.

  42. Andrew30 says:
    April 27, 2011 at 1:01 am
    – That’s beautiful! Cue a cartoon from Josh, ideally in the style of one of Heath Robinson’s wonderfully implausible machines.
    Stephen Brown says:
    April 27, 2011 at 1:18 am
    – A friend of mine had one of those Land Rovers too, wonderful piece of kit. Apparently, you can also use heating oil, paraffin etc. in lieu of diesel (same terms and conditions apply, of course). Diesel engines are great. They’re a sort of internal combustion version of the goat: usually a bit smelly, but will eat anything.

  43. Soylent Green?? HAH!! How about grandma and grandpa firing up the jet engines on your next flight to Cabo!!!

  44. NASA takes a terrible risk operating the first DC 8 in the world that could come down with the chicken flu (LOL).

  45. It makes no sense to let the caloric value of wastes go for nought. However, there is not enough land on earth to support animals, man, autos and jets and still to maintain some environmental semblance.
    I guess the NASA boys are bored now that they’ve been grounded.

  46. Why not repeat the test with a modern high bypass engine, not a dirty old one on a (30-40?) year old plane. I’m not surprised they saw a reduction in soot emissions – ANY reduction would be welcome improvement…
    And what about low temperature performance – specifically the fuels ability to remain free flowing? After the B777 “Deadstick Landing” at Heathrow, frozen fuel is not something that is going to be well regarded by the travelling public, or the crew in the pointy end either!

  47. They had to do research on this? Good grief. It has been known for a long time that for about $500 you can convert your diesel engine on your car to run on frier fat. Or perhaps they had some new ideas along the lines of soyent green and the obesity epidemic we have.

  48. Septic Matthew says:
    April 27, 2011 at 9:31 am
    Anthony, Do you have a better use for all the waste vegetable oil, animal fat, and meat-rendering by products? Little by little, more and more of that waste is converted to fuel each year in the U.S. Fuel from vegetable oil has been tested in combat and passenger aircraft. Now this. Next they’ll test the fuel from the solid waste that comes from beef, pork and chicken packing plants. Do you actually have a well thought out objection, or is this just an anti-intellectual “drop in the bucket” dismissal?
    ====================================================
    Supply and demand.
    Right now, the people that create the waste oil/fat have to pay to haul it away. So many of the folks that are turning it into “bio fuels” can get it for free. But as soon as the demand for the “free” waste oil goes up, the price for it will soon go up too.

  49. I’ve never much thought there was much usefulness to waste vegetable oil used for automobile fuel,

    Back in the seventies, or thereabouts, there was a business in western Sydney that processed used oil from fast food outlets etc. They produced a range of products including fuel oil as I recall. I think the venture traded under the name Martin Refineries. If such a venture was economic in those days, before peak oil and the sustainability – eco – AGW scares, there is no reason that such processing would not be economic today. Does anyone have any information about that company. Google gives no results.

  50. *ahem* Let the Univ of IL professor speak from his Ivory Tower:
    a) food vs. fuel – any petroleum fuel is dirt-cheap compared to something you can put into your mouths, or into the mouths of any critters. Even at $4.00/gallon, gasoline is a bargain right now. Animal feed and foodstuffs have very strong export markets, and domestic demand is strong, so using any decent animal grease for ANYTHING except fuel is the best usage.
    b) The animal grease biodiesel guys are driven to use very low-value fats, oils & greases including oils with high levels of volatile fatty acids, dark color, contamination with chemicals from rendering/wastewater treatment (ferric chloride especially), and/or temporary market gluts. Most of the processing companies I know are building biodiesel production systems into their rendering plants to accommodate these low-value fats. Their biggest source of income? Tax credits.
    c) Fuel blenders and others haven’t yet caught onto some really exotic/trashy sources of oils including greasetrap waste, dairy fats, and a few other streams. These tend to be really low-quality (high VFA), carry lots of water, smell to high-holy heaven, and highly variable in quantity. There’s enough in certain geographic areas to build a business around, but you can’t build a national energy policy off of junk like this.
    In my experience, these waste oils are a major PIA, heavily contaminated with particulates, water, and other contaminants. With a lot of work, they can be converted into a fuel. Some of my clients in TX would just ship the junk over the border to Mexico, for blending into animal feed (not allowed in the USA).

  51. Who else remembers the Boston Legal episode where human fat from liposuction procedures was being shipped overseas to be made into biofuel?
    That could make for another great Sir Richard Branson stunt: This Virgin Atlantic flight is entirely powered by Hollywood celebrities!

  52. New NASA inspired Middle East Oil production strategy?
    “Three charged with stealing 150 pigeons in UAE”
    Seriously…
    “Dubai: Two Pakistani men on Wednesday denied in court the charge of stealing 150 pigeons from a loft on a rooftop.”
    “Prosecution records said the defendants placed the pigeons in bags, put them in their car and drove away to Sharjah where they left the pigeons at a friend’s house.”
    http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/crime/three-charged-with-stealing-150-pigeons-in-uae-1.800055

  53. The Hat Creek Radio Observatory in NE Calif. is shutting down.
    No money to operate.
    This was part of the SETI program.
    I guess it’s more important to study climate catastrophe.
    Poor NASA ain’t what it used to be.
    Now they have the agency chasing it’s tail while Jim Hansen raves.
    Murphys Law says that the signal so long searched for comes a day after the last receiver is turned off. No matter, the Aliens will arrive just as soon as the last of the CO2 is sequestered therby disabling Earths last defence.

  54. Did I miss the part where NASA reported the differences in fuel consumption and power output?
    Getting some energy from junk fuels is better than throwing it away. I suspect using it in heating plants would work better than using it as transport fuel. Perhaps we could shame Greenpeace, UCS, GE, and governments that claim to be going green into heating their buildings with this stuff.

  55. chuck Bradley says: April 27, 2011 at 10:05 pm
    “Perhaps we could shame Greenpeace, UCS, GE, and governments that claim to be going green into heating their buildings with this stuff.”
    Uh newsflash Chuck, they have no shame. They just was you money and your loyalty, in that order.

  56. “Would you want to fly on a plane that is chicken fat powered?”
    Push up
    Every morning
    Ten times.
    Push up
    Starting low.
    Once more on the rise.
    Nuts to the flabby guys!
    Go, you chicken fat, go away!
    Go, you chicken fat, go!

  57. Matthew W…,
    “But as soon as the demand for the “free” waste oil goes up, the price for it will soon go up too.”
    —the WVO might have been free forty years ago, but over the last decade the price has fluctuated from $0.11cents per pound to $0.26cents per pound and is currently $0.50 cents per pound.
    Septic Matthew—WVO is not just thrown away, ever. Its value is animal feed and when used for something else the demand raises the price.

  58. Stephen Brown says:
    A friend of mine has got an old Land Rover which has an equally ancient Cummins diesel engine. He runs it on a mix of about 30% diesel fuel and 70% vegetable oil. The vegetable oil is usually waste oil from fish and chip shops (smells great when he drives by!) but he also uses new oil. New vegetable oil from the shops costs around 94 pence per litre, diesel fuel is now over 140 pence per litre at the pumps.
    The only problem which my friend has is that it is illegal here in the UK to fuel your vehicle in this way. Why? Because the tax man is not getting his cut by way of the exorbitant taxes levied on motor fuels.

    It would be legal if he paid the tax. Which might be cost effective with waste oil. It would also be ok to use vegetable oil in place of red diesel in non road vehicles.

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