Elevance Renewable Sciences, based in Bolingbrook, Ill., plans to convert poultry fat into jet fuel at an Iowa biofuels plant, reports the Associated Press.

The $15M facility could be approved by local government officials by the end of January 2010, according to K'Lynne Johnson, Elevance's chief executive. The company has received $2.5M from the U.S. Department of Energy for the plant.

Johnson said that poultry fat will contribute to a quarter of production in the first year, with the rest coming from plant oils. The converted fat could be used as a petroleum chemical substitute in jet fuel, lubricants and consumer products, such as cosmetics.

Johnson said the 1.4 billion pounds of poultry fat produced annually in the United States could be converted into 250 million gallons of petroleum replacement products, such as diesel and jet fuel. That’s equivalent to about a gallon of fuel for every 50 chickens.

Lucy Norton, managing director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, told the Associated Press that the Elevance facility would be the first biofuels plant in Iowa to make jet fuel from animal fat.

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