The idea of using animal carcasses for fuel is nothing new, in fact in the late 1990's the government set aside funding to develop a technology to "turn cows into fuel". Alkaline Hydrolysis is one area of research that leans toward that very goal.
Alkaline Hydrolysis is simply taking a high pH caustic and adding it to a low pH (acidic) tissue which results in a molecular separation of the protein through hydrolysis. By mathematically calculating the proper percentages of each component; tissue, caustic, and water, we then agitate and presto, we have a liquid solution free of infectious diseases and able to send it down the drain. This of course is achieved only with the proper temperature, pressure, and time compilations by experts in the field of Alkaline Hydrolysis. The original modern process was brought to life in the early 1990's in New York. It was quickly apparent that sending this solution to the drain was an injustice to the energy values that it contained.
Finally in 2002 it was realized that this Alkaline Hydrolysis method used to convert animal carcass materials into a liquid sludge and sent to the drain was a terrible waste of energy. A Florida man invented a way to harness the energy into useful, inexpensive, and safe bi-products; BioMEER was born. This process eliminated the pumping agitation method; the process' weak point and eliminated the "bone basket" which was a second "waste" stream. By using a paddle system to agitate and "blend" the mixture during the molecular separation process it was found less water, less chemical, and less energy was required to successfully complete the initial process; a huge cost savings. Now, the next step in this process, unlike the other process, is to dehydrate the water from the solution. This is done much like a brewer still. The water, because of the traces of ammonia, nitrates, and phosphates is collected and is used as a liquid fertilizer. The solids are discharged at elevated temperatures because once they cool they form a fairly solid block of carbon energy that has about 2400 BTU's per pound. Out of a 5000 lb load of animals, 2000lb of block carbon are collected and 3000lb or about 350 gallons of liquid fertilizer is recovered.
Today incineration of tissue can cost upward of $1.00 per pound, haulers are in the range of $.50 to $.75 per pound. The first generation, liquid Hydrolysis is between $.25 and $.42 per pound. The new BioMEER processor runs between $.05 and $.15 per pound. Both hydrolysis machines operations cost are chemical cost dependant.
As you can see, great strides are being achieved in finding new sources for energy. The reclamation of animal carcass as fuel is just one of hundreds of new ways to reduce our dependency on oil and become a greener, safer planet.