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Sweden is Burning Biofuel Made from Bunnies

Posted By Sarah Parsons On October 19, 2009 @ 12:00 pm In Environment,Renewable Energy | 12 Comments

sustainable design, green design, energy, bunny biofuel, alternative fuel, waste reduction

Scientific American recently reported [1]that Sweden uses a pretty strange source for some of its heating fuel: rabbits. Stockholm [2] has an overabundance of the cotton-tailed critters, and the hungry bunnies are decimating city parks. To cut back on bunny populations and create a greener source of heating fuel for Swedes, city employees round up the rabbits, shoot them, freeze them and then ship them to a heating plant where they’re incinerated. And yes, the thought of it makes our soul hurt, too.

sustainable design, green design, energy, bunny biofuel, alternative fuel, waste reductionPhoto by Shellylyn [3]

While killing animals to use them for fuel is rather uncommon, using animal byproducts to make biofuels [4] happens pretty regularly. Swedish company Konovex creates the bunny-based fuel, but that plant is a subsidiary of Danish company Daka Biodiesel [5], which makes automotive and heating fuels from vegetable and animal oils and fats. Sweden often uses slaughterhouse trimmings to create a methane-based biogas that powers taxicabs in the southern part of the country. And even the US is getting into the animal-based biofuel market: ConocoPhillips [6] partnered with Tyson [7] to make biofuel from chicken and pork fats that would otherwise be added into pet foods, cosmetics or soaps.

Biofuels can be made from a variety of animal fats, including fat from humans (though of course, this is illegal. We can’t help but wonder whether green funerals [8] will start incorporating this practice into its burial methods, though!). And while it’s stomach-turning to think of it, using animal byproducts or slaughterhouse waste to create eco-friendly biofuels actually seems pretty innovative. Killing Peter Rabbit to heat your home [1]seems a little brutal to us, though. We may be in the midst of an energy crisis [9], but we’re also experiencing a global food crisis. [10] Wouldn’t eating the rabbits be a little more savory than burning their frozen carcasses?

Der Spiegel [11] via Scientific American [1]

Lead photo by Blutiger [12]

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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/sweden-is-burning-biofuel-made-from-bunnies/

URLs in this post:

[1] Scientific American recently reported : http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=burning-bunnies-for-biofuel-2009-10-14

[2] Stockholm: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm

[3] Shellylyn: http://www.flickr.com/photos/shelleylyn/3497024307/

[4] animal byproducts to make biofuels: http://www.tcbiodiesel.com/making-biodiesel-from-animal-fat/

[5] Daka Biodiesel: http://www.dakabiodiesel.com/page552.asp

[6] ConocoPhillips: http://www.conocophillips.com/EN/Pages/index.aspx

[7] Tyson: http://www.tyson.com/

[8] green funerals: http://www.greenburials.org/

[9] energy crisis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_crisis

[10] global food crisis.: http://cornellsun.com/section/news/content/2009/04/06/global-experts-unpack-food-crisis

[11] Der Spiegel: http://www.spiegel.de/international/

[12] Blutiger: http://www.flickr.com/photos/blutiger/2949676633/

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