FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas - In the future, fat shaved off chicken breasts and other parts may power
automobiles that emit less pollution.
Chemical engineering researchers associated with the Mack Blackwell Transportation Center at the
University of Arkansas have developed an optimized method of converting chicken fat into biodiesel
fuel. The novel project could lead to using chicken fat — a plentiful, accessible and low-cost
feed stock — as an inexpensive supplement to petroleum-based diesel fuel.
“We’re trying to expand the petroleum base,” said Brian Mattingly, a graduate student in the UA
Department of Chemical Engineering. “Five to 20 percent blending of biodiesel into petroleum-based
diesel significantly reduces our dependence on foreign oil, and we’re using a renewable resource.
These are just a few of biodiesel’s benefits.”
Supported by the national transportation center, the research will lead to Mattingly’s master’s
thesis in chemical engineering. He is pursuing the project under the direction of R.E. Babcock and
Ed Clausen, UA professors of chemical engineering, and Michael Popp, associate professor of
The study provides data that allows researchers and biodiesel producers to evaluate material and
processing costs and product yields for two conversion methods and two types of fat. Mattingly
said the research will help producers choose the most economical conversion method based on
specific composition of different grades of chicken fat…