New Benefuel biodiesel refinery to process low-grade fats and oils
Benefuel, Inc., a biodiesel refining and distribution company, announced that it will build an industrial-scale biodiesel refinery leveraging a novel solid catalyst that converts low-grade fats and vegetable oils into biodiesel. The plant, planned to be located in Seymour, Indiana, eliminates the need for water in the refining process and produces a market-ready glycerin by-product.
Benefuel, a Chicago-based manufacturer of the biodiesel refinery, in partnership with Seymour Biofuels LLC, based in Indiana, plans to construct a 10-million gallon biodiesel plant that uses Benefuel’s solid, acid catalyst. The catalyst, developed in collaboration with leading chemical engineers from India’s prestigious National Chemical Laboratory, can turn virtually any vegetable oil or high free, fatty acid (FFA) animal fat directly into biodiesel without the need for costly pre-processing.
“This is a great leap forward for the entire biodiesel industry, and an exciting development for Indiana’s farmers and transportation companies,” said Rob Tripp, CEO of Benefuel, Inc. “Biodiesel refiners have been looking for a breakthrough that reduces feedstock costs, addresses waste glycerin disposal, eliminates caustics in the processing stream and reduces the environmental impact typically associated with producing biodiesel. The economic benefits of a solid catalyst refinery far exceed those of conventional refineries, dramatically increasing operating margins to create a major shift in how the world produces biodiesel.”
Thanks to the unique nature of the Benefuel catalyst, the operators of the new Seymour plant will realize significant production savings through the purchase of the lowest-cost feedstock. As an added economic benefit, the glycerin by-product of the Seymour refinery will have an initial purity of more than 98%, making it market-ready for use in other applications.
Officials with both companies expect to begin production later in 2008.