Tilapia entrails, not used as food, can be an important souce of biodiesel. (Photo: Stock File/FIS)
Tilapia entrails churn out biodiesel
Tuesday, March 23, 2010, 17:20 (GMT + 9)
The Ceara Nucleus Foundation of Industrial Technology (NUTEC) is moving forward with a project that will transform it into a pioneer in the research of biodiesel production from tilapia entrails.
For Fernando Pedro Dias, a researcher at NUTEC, the advantage in producing this type of biodiesel is that it does not depend on the use of byproducts apt for food production, but rather on fish discards.
Within the framework of this project, the Biodiesel Reference Laboratory (LARBIO) is in charge of gathering, storing and producing the biodiesel.
"The research with tilapia arises as an alternative to using the raw material of fish that does not serve as food, ”Pedro Dias explained.
At present, biofuel use is extending because it is a clean, renewable and less polluting fuel.
The burning of biodiesel is more healthful for the environment because it is a biodegradable, non-toxic fuel that releases fewer chemical components that assault and jeopardise the health of people and the medium.
In addition, biodiesel has similar physic-chemical properties to those of diesel fuel, which is why it can be used in conventional motors with minimal modifications for adequate operation.
Biofuel can also be used in pure form or mixed with diesel fuel.
According to the experts, the only obstacle in producing this type of biofuel is the approval of the Biopeixe Project, necessary for the financing of the construction of a factory to extract fish oil from the entrails of fish.
According to LARBIO coordinator Jackson Malveira, the project was sent to the Northeast Bank of Brazil and it is in the phase of analysis.
An investment of BRL 500,000 is proposed (USD 278,000) to carry out the research and launch of the initiative, by part of the Funding Entity of Studies and Projects (FINEP).
A similar amount will be financed by the Government of Ceara, in an effort to facilitate the project’s set up.
"When the breeding of tilapia began in net-tanks in A çude Castanha, the problem arose of finding a destination for fish waste (entrails, among others), which did not have any use for producers in the beginning,” Malveira added.
Tilapia is the most cultivated fish in Brazil, and represents 38 per cent of national production.
The state of Ceara is the leading producer of tilapia in the country.
By Analia Murias