Bioenergy

Imperium Renewables Opens Largest Biodiesel Facility in U.S.

Imperium Renewables recently celebrated the official opening of its Imperium Grays Harbor biodiesel facility in Washington state. With an annual capacity of 100 million gallons per year, it is the largest biodiesel production facility in the U.S.

“The launch of Grays Harbor represents a coming of age for the biodiesel industry,” said John Plaza, founder and president of Imperium Renewables. “This facility has the scale and the systems to produce fuel comparable to petroleum diesel that meets or exceeds ASTM standards. The difference is that our fuel has far less impact on our environment than fossil fuels and is made from renewable resources.”

The facility is sited on a 12-acre parcel of land at the Port of Grays Harbor, Washington. The production facility has the capacity to produce up to 100 million gallons of biodiesel fuel, and is capable of storing up to 17 million gallons of biodiesel and feedstocks (the oil that is used to produce biodiesel) at any one time.

The site includes eight main tanks, which can hold 2 million gallons each and two reserves that can hold 500,000 gallons. The tanks are supported by massive, three-and-a-half foot thick concrete foundations, each one totaling 1,000 cubic yards of concrete supported by 185 piles driven 75 feet into the ground. Connection between the various equipment is achieved via an elaborate network of more than 70,000 linear feet of piping. The facility is “feedstock agnostic” meaning it can create biodiesel from numerous different feedstocks—even simultaneously.

The new facility incorporated proprietary technology techniques and processes that had been developed and improved at Imperium’s original facility, Seattle Biodiesel. Imperium chose the Port of Grays Harbor for its strategic connections to rail, road and water transportation for both inbound raw materials as well as outbound biodiesel fuel.

In 2006, the National Biodiesel Board estimates that more than 250 million gallons of biodiesel were consumed in the U.S., up from 75 million in 2005.