Biodiesel Awards, Openings and Plans Move Forward: A News Summary

Six winners were selected at the National Sustainable Design Expo held in early May in Washington, DC. Among the six to have won the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) P3 Awards was a student team from Appalachian State University (ASU) in North Carolina for its project that converts local waste vegetable oil into biodiesel through a “closed-loop” environmentally friendly process.

The ASU team will use its grant to develop a self-sustaining 80-gallon biodiesel processor that incorporates solar thermal technologies and vegetable oil-based heating systems, enabling it to run with no fossil fuel use or utility connection. In conjunction with the biodiesel processor, the team will develop a natural water filtration system to enable safe reuse of biodiesel production wastewater and a still to recover excess methanol and purify glycerol for use in making soap. ASU students will then explore the feasibility of using the biofuels produced to provide heating for student and low-income families and fuel equipment for local farmers. The Associated Press reports from Natchez, Mississippi, that a Louisiana gas distributor has bought the former Ethyl Petroleum Additives plant in Adams County with plans to make it a biodiesel operation. Delta Fuel Company, Inc., of Ferriday, Louisiana, provides gas, diesel and lubricates to wholesale and retail markets. In Queensland, Australia, its first commercial biodiesel facility is open, and is operated by Eco Tech Bio Diesel Pty Ltd — a joint venture between a group of ‘waste to energy’ entrepreneurs and the Gull Group of Companies. It reports having forward-sold its first year’s production of 30 million liters of biodiesel and has plans to develop a second facility on the existing site, boosting the production to 75 million liters per annum. The product, already retailing at selected Gull Petroleum sites in Western Australia, is 4c a liter less than Gull’s conventional diesel product. In Duesseldorf, Germany, DGAP News reports that biodiesel producer Biopetrol Industries AG has put all the foundations in place for its third production facility, to be erected in Rotterdam and constructed by biodiesel plant builder, Lurgi AG. Biopetrol Rotterdam B.V., Netherlands. In Rotterdam a production plant is planned with a capacity of 400,000 tons of biodiesel, 60,000 tons of pharmaceutical glycerine and 60,000 tons re-esterification of fatty acids. Start-up for the plant is scheduled for Q3 2007. The investment volume for the two latest Biopetrol Industries plants in Rostock and Rotterdam will be around EUR 90 million [USD$ 115 million] in total after deducting subsidies.
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