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Largest Cow Tallow-Biodiesel Plant in Brazil to Open in June

MercoPress. The Bertin Group, Brazil’s largest beef exporter, is building a plant to convert the cow tallow from its abattoirs into biodiesel.

The US$18 million plant will begin production in June 2006 in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and is expected to produce 100,000 tons (approximately 23 million gallons US) of biodiesel annually. The factory is expected to produce almost 14% of the biodiesel required to comply with the Brazilian government’s target of blending 2% biodiesel with petroleum diesel effective January 2006 (earlier post).

The plant will be the largest of its kind in Brazil and the first to use tallow as the basic feedstock. Brazil has a cattle herd of 190 million.

Bertin Group, based in Lins, Brazil, is one of the world’s largest fully integrated bovine production operations with 18,000 employees. The construction of the biodiesel factory is a diversification strategy of the Group which is complementing its main beef production with other options such as cosmetics, footwear and fuel.


Mark A

Maybe this is what we, here in the states should be doing. Instead of all this fat going into our wastelines through all the Big Macs we eat, maybe we should intercept it first and generate fuel. What is the process involved here? Is it thermal depolymerisation? If so, it shouldnt be limited to diesel only.


Maybe it's because I'm about to go for a bike ride and need the calories, but my reaction to the headline was the opposite of Mark's ... I thought "what a waste, when we could make a bunch of tasty french fries"


Er, does anyone else see the irony here? Brazil slashes and burns rainforest to grow cows to produce biodiesel fuel for cars... ?


sara - certainly. i'm sure you've seen the reports that rainforest is going even faster.

there is also a potential problem when we choose to feed our machines rather than ourselves. in the case of many of these biofuels we can feed either. in a worst case scenario we'd see poor countries exporting biofuels while their population runs short on calories.


The food vs. fuel argument doesn't really apply here as the tallow is a byproduct from beef abattoirs already in operation. You can make lipstick, road asphalt, food preservatives, vaccines, and biodiesel from it.


Don't forget candles for when the electric company runs out of fuel.


Hey man, I provided the french fry link for any skeptics in the audience. ;-)

And I thought it was a nice segway into the wider discussion of food-or-fuel.

If you, or some Hindus, don't want to eat tallow that's fine ... but it worked pretty good for Ray Kroc.


You got me curious and I kept surfing ...

"In New Zealand about 90% of frying fat is beef tallow."

source in pdf


Ahh, nobody would mind if the beef tallow will go thru the french fries first before going into a biodiesel reactor.


good solution rexis, win-win ;-)


Apparently to turn tallow into biodiesel, you have to remove the gylcerine which is the thickener, to leave the esthers, which then can be used on it's own or in a blend with normal diesel.

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