Tyson developing renewable fuel from animal fat

CHICAGO Wed Mar 7, 2007 4:03pm EST

Tyson Foods' CEO Richard Bond speaks during the Reuters Food Summit in Chicago March 7, 2007. REUTERS/Joshua Lott

Tyson Foods' CEO Richard Bond speaks during the Reuters Food Summit in Chicago March 7, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Joshua Lott

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - The renewable fuel that Tyson Foods Inc. is developing from animal fat will be more useful than ethanol, Chief Executive Richard Bond said on Wednesday.

"(The fuel is) absolutely better than ethanol," Bond said in response to a question at the Reuters Food Summit in Chicago.

The largest U.S. meat company, which produces 2.3 billion pounds of fat a year as a byproduct of its operations, could potentially start production of the fuel by the end of the year, Bond said.

"We are pretty far along on some technological advances working with some other companies," he added.

Fat-based renewable fuels could possibly be used for jets or diesel engines, said Bond, who declined to outline any specific goals or target dates for production.

The company is still trying to work through some issues in the development, Bond said, though he declined to specify the issues.

President Bush has called for the use of 35 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2017 in an effort to reduce gasoline consumption by 20 percent. Corn-based ethanol is expected to be used heavily to reach the target but companies are working to develop other technologies to meet the goal.

Tyson created a renewable energy unit, which also is looking at ways to produce energy from poultry litter, in November 2006.

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