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Energy from Human fat

Monday, January 5th, 2009 Energy from Human fat

Interesting and ethically problematic article reported by Joanna Sugden of The Times (24 12 08).

Dr Craig Alan Bittner, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon claims to have turned fat, extracted in liposuction, into biofuel for his car has bolted from town after US officials raided his surgery in an investigation into his procedures.

Dr Bittner, who runs the Liposculpture clinic on Rodeo Drive, said that he had created “lipodiesel” with his patients’ excess subcutaneous fat.

It has been established that Dr Bittner is under investigation by the California Department of Public Health because it is illegal in the state to use human medical waste to power vehicles.

This indeed will raise ethical questions. However, one could argue the merits of this controversial process and look out of the box in terms of generating this type of waste as a sound alternative.

Dr Bittner has allegedly wrote about the practice on his website,, which has been subsequently shut down. He says, “The vast majority of my patients request that I use their fat for fuel - and I have more fat than I can use.”

He further adds, “Not only do they get to lose their love handles or chubby belly but they get to take part in saving the earth.”

Notwithstanding there has been a flood of lawsuits filed against Dr Bittner by patients who have claimed his unqualified girlfriend carried out procedures that have left them disfigured and also uncovered his fat-fueled activities.

Furthermore the patients also have claimed they found Dr Bittner via the internet and arranged pre-operative consultations at his office, but instead of Dr Bittner conducting the consultation, it was his office manager Darcy, according the the Beverly Hills Courier.

Hitherto, WIRED magazine cast doubt on Dr Bittner’s claim that he used the lipodiesel to power his girlfriend’s Lincoln Navigator – which it said does not have a diesel model.

It said the whole scheme could be a hoax inspired by the film Fight Club, in which Brad Pitt’s character Tyler Durden uses waste from liposuction to make soap.

Dr Bittner is currently volunteering in a rural clinic outside Bogota, Colombia.

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