SRI Consulting reviews Catilin technology

By Susanne Retka Schill | October 14, 2009
Posted November 2, 2009

Catilin Inc. announced results from an analysis of its new T300 catalyst completed by SRI Consulting of Menlo Park, Calif. "SRI came to us and said they'd like to do an in-depth study and publish it for their subscribers," said David Sams, vice president for business development. The independent study supported results from Catilin's internal work as well as outside engineering analysis commissioned by Catilin. SRI Consulting concluded that Catilin's solid catalyst process has a value advantage over the traditional catalytic process of 13 cents per gallon of biodiesel. When the capital expense savings are included, the advantage increases to 19 cents per gallon of biodiesel.

"We are pleased that SRI Consulting has completed this review and will include the information as a supplement to their Biodiesel Production Report. This thorough analysis validated our T300 catalyst as a real breakthrough in current and future biodiesel production for use with first-, second- and third-generation feedstocks," said Larry Lenhart, president and CEO.

Catilin is commercializing the research done in developing the new catalyst at Iowa State University in Ames and the U.S. DOE's Ames Laboratory. The T300 heterogeneous catalyst is nontoxic and can be a direct replacement for conventional catalysts used in biodiesel production. The drop-in solid catalyst operates at industry standard pressures and temperatures and is removed with filtration. As a result, current producers can retrofit their plants in a matter of days at very low cost. Another key advantage is that the glycerin coproduct has purity greater than 98 percent and qualifies as technical grade, which significantly enhances its overall value.

Sams reported engineering and equipment ordering is underway for the first deployment of the T300 catalyst in a sizeable plant, which he expects to be operational by early February. "We've asked other companies that have approached us and wanted the catalyst to wait," he added. "We intentionally are doing the first project individually, so we can work out any issues. The next step will be to install it in multiple plants in parallel." His goal is to begin working on the second wave of installations in January.

"The potential benefits of a solid catalyst for the biodiesel industry are significant and we are glad to see Catilin pursue this work," said Glen Meier, director of technology and feedstock development for Renewable Energy Group Inc. REG has followed the development of the catalyst since work began by a team led by Victor Lin at ISU and the Ames Laboratory. "We also appreciate the efforts of Catilin to operate at typical temperatures and pressures to conserve energy, and believe this will widen the market acceptance of the catalyst," Meier said.

The abstract of the SRI Consulting report is here: http://www.sriconsulting.com/PEP/Public/Reports/Phase_2009/RW2009-5/. For an earlier article in Biodiesel Magazine about Catilin's work, "A Solid Catalyst Unlike the Rest," visit http://biodieselmagazine.com/article.jsp?article_id=3536
 
 
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