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Insects may be used to produce eco-friendly biodiesel: researchers

A group of South Korean researchers on Friday announced a method to produce environment-friendly fuels utilizing remains of high-fat infects, which is expected to lend support to the country's efforts to go carbon neutral by 2050.

"Black soldier flies have great potential to be used to produce biodiesel, considering they feed on food waste and have a high fat content," the Korea Petroleum Quality & Distribution Authority (K-Petro) said in a statement.

It added the method is significant as South Korea spends around 800 billion won ($708 million) annually to handle 5.5 million tons of food waste.

The method centers on using leftover fat from black solider flies to produce animal feed, which is then converted into the new energy source through a purification process.

The authority said the country currently depends on imports for around 70 percent of materials used to produce biodiesel products, pointing out the approach will pave the way for the nation to have a more self-sufficient energy portfolio.

The institute hinted that mass production will be possible in the near future once enough black solider flies are supplied.

The latest findings were published in the online edition of Environmental Engineering Research, an international journal. (Yonhap)