New Process Turns Feather Meal into Biodiesel

US - Researchers at the University of Nevada have developed a green process to produce biodiesel from feather meal.
calendar icon 23 July 2009
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Kondamudi and colleagues at the University of Nevada have published a paper in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry describing a new process to produce biodiesel from feather meal.

This paper describes a new and environmentally friendly process for developing biodiesel from commercial feather meal, a waste product of the poultry industry. Currently, feather meal is used as an animal feed, given its high protein content, and also as a fertilizer because of its high nitrogen content.

In this work, the researchers extracted fat from the feather meal in boiling water (70°C) and then trans-esterified the fat into biodiesel using potassium hydroxide and methanol; 7 to 11 per cent biodiesel (on a dry basis) is produced in this process.

ASTM analysis of the prepared feather meal biodiesel confirmed that the biodiesel is of good quality and comparable to other biodiesels made from other common feedstocks.

Given the amount of feather meal produced by the poultry industry, it is estimated that this process can create 150-200 million gallons of biodiesel in the United States and 593.2 million gallons worldwide.


Kondamudi N., J. Strull, M. Misra and S.K. Mohapatra. 2009. A green process for producing biodiesel from feather meal. J. Agric. Food Chem., 57 (14): 6163–6166. DOI: 10.1021/jf900140e

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