The Next Car Fuel: Alligator Fat?

August 18, 2011

Biofuels are the next big thing: renewable, cheap, and jobs-producing, unless you talk to the oil industry. They're not fans. Of course, this has led to all sorts of weird things being farmed for fuel, but the latest takes the cake. And eats half of it in a gulp.

Yep, alligator fat might be the next biofuel, not least because it will make all those annoying PETA members cry. But how the heck did they even come up with this?

Believe it or not, 15 million pounds of gator fat is just dumped in landfills, every year, as part of alligator meat processing. Yes, you can get alligator meat at certain grocery stores. No, McDonald's will not make a Gatorburger, even if that is an amazing idea. So, researchers at, where else, the University of Louisiana got some gator fat and tried to make some biodiesel out of it.

The results were pretty impressive. It will need to be refined somewhat further, but gator fat turns out to be extremely rich in lipids, which makes turning it into something that can run your car fairly easy to do. That's kind of a big deal because America goes through 45 billion gallons of diesel a year.

We say, why stop there? Let's build lots of gator farms, and use every part of the gator. Come on, it's like chicken, only it's fair because the gator might be able to take you in a fight. Bring on the gatorburgers!

Photo: Tier Und Naturfotografie J & C Sohns/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images