Permaflo Biodiesel goes to the Arctic Circle

By Susanne Retka Schill | March 09, 2009
Web exclusive posted March 10, 2009, at 11:18 a.m. CST

In early March, the Indiana Soybean Alliance tested 250 gallons of a new cold climate Permaflo biodiesel in Alaska; the fuel was developed at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.

Researchers from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, the Alaska Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, ISA farmer-directors and Purdue agricultural engineering professor Bernie Tao drove two vehicles running on B100 from Anchorage to Fairbanks, a 360-mile trip passing through Denali National Park. One of the vehicles continued on 200 miles to the Arctic Circle where the group camped overnight using a generator powered by Permaflo biodiesel. The testing concluded March 9 with a University of Alaska-Fairbanks symposium on biofuels. The trip was documented on the ISA Web site.

Purdue University researchers developed Permaflo Biodiesel using a novel process to create biodiesel with a cloud point as low as -55 degrees Celsius (-67 degrees Fahrenheit). The process involves using urea to separate saturated and unsaturated oil molecules. The saturated molecules bond with the urea and drop out of the solution with the remaining molecules used to make the Permaflo Biodiesel. According to the ISA Web site, the cold-flow fractionation process alters the chemical composition to improve the cold-weather properties.

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