Pigs do fly: the rise of animal fats in European transport

May 31, 2023

Growing demand for animal fats biofuels to power Europe’s transport system raises concerns over climate impacts and potential fraud

Rendered animal fats are a by-product of industrial meat production and have a number of surprising and less surprising uses. Most notably animal fats have been used so far in pet food and in the oleochemicals (e.g. soap, cosmetics) industries. Less well known, however, is their use as transport fuels, currently mostly in cars and trucks. Major airlines have recently struck big deals with oil suppliers for what are termed ‘sustainable aviation fuels’ (SAF). Even if the detail of the exact feedstocks used in SAFs is mostly vague, they often include animal fats.

As the study carried out by Cerulogy on behalf of T&E shows, there is already significant pressure on supplies of animal fat as its use in biodiesel has grown fortyfold since 2006.

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