How Your Turkey Day Oil Can Become Valuable Biofuels

Last week was Thanksgiving and Americans across the country took a little time to eat some turkey, watch some football, and spend some time with their families. With Thanksgiving now just a distant memory of a full stomach, it has been left to a certain group of people to deal with the aftermath. While it would seem strange to put together biofuels and Thanksgiving in the same sentence, one New Orleans based group has managed to do just that.

The Gulfsouth Youth Biodiesel Project has decided to take as much of the oil left over from frying turkey during the Thanksgiving holiday that they can collect and put it towards the production of biodiesels. The idea behind the project was to use the members of the Gulfsouth Youth Biodiesel Project to travel around parts of Louisiana to gather oil left over from the frying of turkeys at homes or restaurants and return it to a biodiesel production plant in Kenner, Louisiana. At the outset, the goal for the group was to collect roughly 500 gallons of turkey frying oil over the course of an undetermined period of time with the hopes of converting one gallon of oil to one gallon of biodiesel.

While the project may seem to be a bit strange, their impact on the environment and towards the development of biofuels is sound. The Gulfsouth Youth Biodiesel Project is a part of a larger organization called Operation Reach. The Gulfsouth Youth Biodiesel Project on its own is designed to educate and train college level students in biofuel production and other related aspects of the science and business in order to prepare them for careers in renewable energy or biofuel related fields. Operation Reach itself is based primarily out of New Orleans, Louisiana and has been working for some time now on trying to educate community children on a variety of projects including renewable energy and biofuels.

The biofuel plant in Kenner, Louisiana, where the turkey frying oil was sent, is currently producing approximately ninety gallons of biofuels on a daily basis. It is hoped that the biofuels generating from the turkey frying oil that was donated by the Gulfsouth Youth Biodiesel Project will allow the plant’s output to be raised significantly in hopes of gaining more costumers and contributing on a larger scale to the cut down of carbon emissions. Currently, the plant is expected to sell the biofuel produced by the turkey frying oil to Golden Leaf Energy. Golden Leaf Energy is a company that focuses primarily on the sale of ethanol and biofuel based products.

While the connection between Thanksgiving and biofuels is still a strange one to make, even after hearing all of the facts, it is still refreshing to see. While the impact may not be on a massive scale, every little bit put in towards making biofuels more widespread is worth the effort.

Photo Credit: Ukanda on Flickr