Nova Biosource Fuels advances Seneca facility

By Kris Bevill | June 17, 2008
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Web exclusive posted July 1, 2008 at 3:19 p.m. CST

Nova Biosource Fuels Inc. has commissioned the final 20 MMgy train at its flagship biodiesel production facility in Seneca, Ill. The 60 MMgy plant consists of three sets of machinery, each capable of producing 20 MMgy.

The plant's first train, which was commissioned earlier this year, had produced 1 million gallons of biodiesel by April 1. According to Nova Biosource Fuels, the facility has now produced 5 million gallons of ASTM D6751 quality biodiesel.

"Each train has exceeded our performance objectives for yield, throughput and quality, and two are now running at near nameplate capacity," said Ken Hern, chairman and chief executive officer at Nova Biosource Fuels. Hern added that there is currently one idle train at the facility, but Nova Biosource Fuels expects it to begin producing again sometime in July after maintenance has been completed and feedstock has been obtained. Once that is accomplished, Hern said his team is prepared to "bring up all three trains simultaneously in preparation for the test run."

In the July issue of Biodiesel Magazine, Hern said his company is unique in that it uses feedstocks containing high percentages of free fatty acids. Nova Biosource Fuels is capable of using multiple feedstocks from corn oil to poultry fat without having to mix them with virgin soy oil, he said. The result is a high-performance, crystal-clear biodiesel that Hern claims can run better in motors than conventional diesel. The Biodiesel Magazine article can be viewed in its entirety at

The Seneca facility is the first plant to be built and operated by Nova Biosource Fuels. The company has built several biodiesel facilities, including a biodiesel refinery for Scott Petroleum Corp. in Greenville, Miss. That facility was shut down earlier this year after a mechanical pump failure resulted in damage to the refinery. Repairs to the machinery were completed on schedule in mid-June and the facility restarted its biodiesel production on June 19. "We look forward to ramping up operations at the refinery so that we can begin taking our share of production under our offtake agreement with Scott Petroleum in the near future," Hern said. He predicted Nova Biosource Fuels could begin offtaking biodiesel from the facility as early as August.
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