Animal Fat becomes Aircraft Fuel, Here's Prof Ronny R Noor's View

Prof Ronny Rachman Noor, an expert in environmental genetics at IPB University, said that the world of animal husbandry is now facing a new challenge with the demand for fat for biofuel. He said that animal fat, especially pig fat, can be a mainstay to produce environmentally friendly fuels.

"Current technological developments require a change in vision and a revolution in multidimensional thinking, because it turns out that animal fats, especially pigs, have high economic value and are more environmentally friendly," said Prof Ronny.

He explained that technically, lard and other animal fats can be used as environmentally friendly fuels, including jet fuel. The idea of using animal fat also has a very strong basis.

"Based on the results of research in various countries, in terms of the environment, fuel made from lard is more environmentally friendly because the carbon emissions produced are lower when compared to other fuels such as fossils, used cooking oil and palm oil," he explained.

Prof Ronny revealed that animal fat, especially lard, has been used for centuries to make candles, soap and other purposes such as the cosmetics industry. However, the trend of increasing its use has sharpened in the last 20 years in the era of environmentally friendly biofuels.

Europe is the region where the use of animal fats as fuel has increased the most in the last 20 years. The figure has reached 40 times.

"So it is not surprising that aviation experts predict that the use of fuel from animal fats will triple in the world of aviation by 2030," he said.

The world of aviation is currently in the spotlight because it is one of the largest sources of pollution and carbon emissions, so the use of biofuels that are more environmentally friendly is considered a necessity in an effort to reduce global warming which has an impact on climate change.

Prof Ronny said that one of the biggest challenges for the livestock world is to provide enough animal fat to meet the needs of biofuel feedstock because the amount needed is very large.

"Researchers and aviation experts have concluded that to fuel an aircraft from Paris to New York requires the fat of 8,800 pigs if all fuel comes from animal sources," he explained.

Therefore, he said, in the short term the most realistic step in producing biofuel for aircraft is to mix this lard with other biofuel sources such as palm oil.

"The use of lard and other animal fats as the main component of environmentally friendly biofuels will certainly increase the demand for these animal fats sharply. Of course, this will affect industries that have traditionally used animal fats," Prof Ronny said.

For example, the pet food industry such as dogs and cats has been absorbing lard and animal fats very heavily and is difficult to replace.

According to Prof Ronny, another concern is that if lard and tallow-based biofuels are produced to fuel other means of transport such as cars and other vehicles, then of course the demand will be even higher and other industries will not be able to compete.

"For the world of animal husbandry, this phenomenon is a challenge in itself because in addition to human needs and the fulfilment of animal protein, the world of animal husbandry must also meet the demand for the transportation industry as a provider of fat in very large quantities," he explained.

Another thing that needs to be anticipated, according to Prof Ronny, is the emergence of controversy, debate and problems related to whether biofuels made from lard are halal to use. (*/Rz) (IAAS/RUM)

Published Date : 08-Jun-2023

Resource Person : Prof Ronny R Noor

Keyword : IPB Professor, lard, environmentally friendly fuel, biofuel