Agri Business

Chicken slaughter waste, a promising raw material for biodiesel production

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on July 26, 2021

John Abraham at the pilot plant set up for biodiesel production.

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Chicken slaughter waste appears to be another promising choice, after tapioca, to produce alternative fuels.

John Abraham, associate professor at Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Wayanad, said that after seven and a half years of study on this subject for his doctoral research, he recently received a patent for biodiesel production from rendered chicken oil.

He has started producing biodiesel from chicken slaughter waste from the pilot plant set up at the university’s School of Bioenergy and Farm Waste Management to scale up his innovation.

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The product was tested at BPCL’s Kochi refinery to prove it conformed to BIS standards, he said, adding that the fuel is relatively cheap at a production cost of around ₹35.68 per litre.

He stated that a jeep belonging to the veterinary college was running on the fuel for three months now. The product is currently used at 50 per cent blending with petro-diesel in unmodified diesel engines.

M.C.Sumith, a driver at the farm who used the vehicle, said that the jeep has become very smooth and its efficiency has improved after using the biodiesel and it has helped receive a good mileage. Earlier, it was difficult to stand behind the vehicle with normal fuel because of smoke. The smoke can hardly be detected while using the biofuel, he added.   

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“We are now readying to start commercial production, and several companies including HPCL have approached us for a possible business venture,” he told BusinessLine.

He says the biodiesel from chicken slaughter waste has a high cetane value of 72, compared with 54 for petro-diesel, which improves efficiency in diesel engines. It also has 11 per cent of oxygen by weight, which leads to complete combustion, resulting in much lower engine emission.

Around 5.3 lakh birds are slaughtered daily in Kerala, generating 350 tonnes of broiler slaughter waste. The waste is usually disposed of in uninhabited areas or waterbodies, leading to ground and surface water pollution.

In Abraham’s process, the waste is cooked at high temperature and pressure to extract the oil. According to him, 36 per cent of the waste is converted to animal and pet feed, containing 62 per cent protein and 10 per cent oil.

Currently, the production is underway at the multi-species abattoir of the Brahmagiri Development Society. Abraham said 86 per cent of the oil can be converted into biodiesel and 14 per cent of it is glycerin, which can be used for making soaps and cosmetics.

An estimated 2.4 lakh tonnes of dead bird are available in India each year, as per the standard mortality of the industrial average, which can be converted into 8,500 tonnes of biodiesel. This can also help solve the problem of unscientific disposal of dead birds and slaughter waste.

Abraham recently received the ‘Atal India Challenge’ recognition from Niti Ayog for his invention.

Published on July 26, 2021

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