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Environment

ConocoPhillips, Tyson To Make Fuel From Fat

April 23, 2007 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 85, ISSUE 17

Oil major ConocoPhillips and meat processor Tyson Foods are joining forces to create a new type of diesel fuel made from beef, pork, and poultry fat. The companies plan to combine Tyson's knowledge of protein chemistry and production with ConocoPhillips' processing and marketing expertise to introduce a renewable fuel that meets all federal standards for ultra-low-sulfur diesel. "This alliance will provide a new and significant contribution to our nation's domestic renewable fuel supply," says ConocoPhillips CEO James J. Mulva. Production of renewable diesel is scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of 2007 and reach as much as 175 million gal annually within a few years. The technology, which ConocoPhillips developed at its Whitegate refinery in Cork, Ireland, uses a thermal depolymerization technique to coprocess animal fat with hydrocarbon feedstock. The companies say their fuel is chemically equivalent to the diesel produced from hydrocarbon feedstocks alone and can be transported directly through existing pipelines. These traits, they say, sets it apart from biodiesel, which in the U.S. is mostly derived from soybean oil and must be transported by truck or rail.

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