BioFuelBox installs first biodiesel plant in Idaho

By Susanne Retka Schill | September 18, 2009

Posted September 29, 2009

BioFuelBox Inc. announced its first installation of a new biodiesel technology has been operational since August at a potato processing facility in American Falls, Idaho. "Since we turned the plant on in August we've had 15 consecutive ASTM passes, and it hasn't failed," said Rick Reddy, vice president of marketing.

San Jose, Calif.-based BioFuelBox came out of stealth mode earlier this year with the announcement that its patented and trademarked NovoStream process had successfully overcome a technical obstacle in removing sulfur from biodiesel made from low quality waste-based feedstocks. Reddy described NovoStream as a continuous flow, supercritical process using high heat and pressure to convert free fatty acids (FFA) and triglycerides to biodiesel in one pass with high yields. The process can handle up to 100 percent FFA, high contaminant levels as well as high moisture content. Pretreatment is limited to removing solids and excess water, according to Reddy. He added that the net energy ratio for the process is roughly twice that of standard biodiesel, in spite of the use of more energy for the heat and pressure used in the process. The company says the process yields 7 units of energy out for every 1 unit used, the primary energy savings coming from the minimal energy contribution from on site production and the waste feedstock itself.

The first installation of the BioFuelBox 1 MMgy modular unit uses feedstock from an Idaho potato processing facility. The facility has a market for its waste vegetable oil, but not the lower quality greases which have been stockpiled in an outdoor pond before being landfilled. BioFuelBox uses the pond grease in its process, producing biodiesel that Reddy said has been described as the highest quality biodiesel their customer has purchased.

The company is pursuing an "own and operate" business model, seeking to place its modular units at municipal and industrial waste water treatment facilities generating at least 1 MMgy of waste fats, oils and grease. Reddy reports that the company has agreements with six facilities in the Southeast interested in the company locating a processing unit to handle the waste grease. "We provide a turnkey solution for people with large waste streams," Reddy said.
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