Insects for biodiesel production
In this paper, the fat content of insects is studied for its utilization in the production of biodiesel. The study has shown the great fat potential of insects, highlighting a large number of species with an ether extract higher than 25%, including a large number in excess of 30% and some even reaching levels close to or above 77%. Moreover, a review of the main criteria to be considered for the selection of insect species for biodiesel production is carried out. It was observed that the fat content varies widely between orders, species, and their stages of development – larva, prepupa, pupa, nymph or adult – with the larval stage being that at which the most fat is accumulated. Furthermore, variations in the fat content were observed within the same species due to factors such as origin (wild or bred in captivity) or type of diet. This last factor is one of the most important to take into account for the selection of insect species with the objective of using their fat in the production of biodiesel. The principal conclusion of this study is that insects, through the development of their life cycle, can be fed with agricultural, industrial or urban by-products in order to accumulate a large amount of fat with potentially excellent quality (fatty acids C16–18), for conversion into energy through biodiesel production. Moreover, the resulting protein can also be used as a protein source in animal feed. Therefore, insects are a renewable source of protein and energy.
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