Researchers at the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Nevada in Reno, have developed a way of extracting biodiesel from chicken feathers, according to an article in the New York Times.

The team, which includes Mano Misra, Susanta K. Mohapatra and colleagues, extracted fat from chicken feather meal by boiling it in water and converting the fat to biodiesel through a process called transesterification.

The process, if applied to the stock of feather meal annually produced in U.S., could yield as much as 150 million gallons of biodiesel, the researchers said. This alternative method would help in save vegetable oil which is diverted to extract biodiesel and would channel the feather waste into productive uses.