by Max Brantley
Running trucks on fat? That's what Tyson Foods and ConocoPhillips have in mind, the Wall Street Journal reports today. Tyson will ship beef, pork and chicken fat from a plant in Texas to a Conoco refinery to make the diesel fuel in a process the WSJ said "more resembles winemaking than oil refining." The EPA will have to approve the fat diesel.
Tyson produces about 300 million gallons of beef, pork and chicken fat each year. About 58% of its fat production will go to the diesel deal once it is ramped up. Currently Tyson sells its fat for use in such products as cosmetics, soap and pet food. Producing one 42-gallon barrel of renewable diesel requires about one barrel of animal fat. And each barrel requires, on average, two steers, or 16 hogs or 1,300 chickens, Tyson officials say.