Tyson Backs Chicken Fat-to-Fuel Project

Tyson Backs Chicken Fat-to-Fuel Project

Tyson Foods is backing a biofuel project that could turn tons of chicken fat into fuel.

The Louisiana Economic Development organization announced the $126 million project last week. Dynamic Fuels, a joint venture between Tyson and Syntroleum Corp. will build and operate the facility in Geismar, near Baton Rouge.

With capacity for 75 million gallons per year, estimated operation of the plant is scheduled for 2010.

The move comes amid increasing interest in biofuels as the price of oil skyrockets. The state of Louisiana developed a mandate last year requiring that a 2 percent mix of local biodiesel or ethanol be added to the state's fuel supply beginning six months after state producers pass the 15 million-gallon mark, according to The Daily Advertiser, based in Lafayette.

The plant will be close to the Barksdale Air Force, whose B-52s may one day be powered by biofuel, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The Department of Defense will buy 500 gallons of renewable fuels made from animal fats for testing, the publication said.

Chicken fat is cheaper than soybean oil, which has risen in price as demand for soybeans grows.