Bioplastics Could Have a New Source of Raw Material: Animal Fats

bioplastic-sheetAnimal leftovers are a valuable source of fats (carbon-rich organic polymers) that are ideal for the production of bioplastics. This could make the search for alternatives to petrochemical products turn slaughter houses in goldmines.

Along with the meat, skin, bones and even hair, the slaughter houses will be able to turn any of the redundant organic residues into bioplastics.

This is the purpose of Animpol, a project that spans on a three year period, backed by researchers from specialized institutes and the meat industry. The project has been funded 3.75 million euros and the countries involved are Austria, Germany, Italy, UK, Croatia, Poland and Slovenia.

Besides making bio-plastics, the animal lipids could as well be turned into biodiesel. Over 500,000 tons of animal waste is being destroyed by the EU meat industry yearly. Along with the 300,000 tons of plant-derived oils resulted from the production of biofuels the residual animal fat could be used in making bioplastics.

Some turn their Thanksgiving turkeys into biodiesel and others even thought about making fuel from crocodile fat, but this seems the most viable and organized project I have seen so far – nothing is lost, everything is turned into burnable, renewable fuel.

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