ICIS News (subscription only) has been reporting this spilled animal fat in Houston Ship Channel today.
Some 250,000 gallons of beef tallow leaked on early Tuesday evening from ruptured storage tank owned by Jacob Stern & Sons Inc., a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based agricultural products company. About 15,000 gallons of the beef fat ended up on the Houston Ship Channel via a storm drain, causing the closure of a small portion of the waterway.
The US Coast Guard reported that the leak was contained by booms and traffic in the channel resumed early Wednesday.
Fortunately, animal fat is easy to clean unlike oil spill and there should be little or no environmental damage because of the material’s near-solid condition, according to the Coast Guard.
One industrial application of animal fats is feedstock for oleochemical production.
[Photo from the US Coast Guard]