Nobel biodiesel technology set to deploy

By Nicholas Zeman | December 21, 2009
Posted December 30, 2009

Yves Chauvin, Robert Grubbs and Roger Schrock-a Frenchman and two Americans-received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2005 for their development of a process now known as olefin metathesis, which can convert soybean oil, inedible corn oil, animal fats and other raw materials into jet fuel, high value specialty chemicals and biodiesel.

This "bolt on technology" will receive its first commercial deployment via the assistance of a $3.9 million grant from the Iowa Power Fund. Elevance Renewable Sciences Inc., of Bolingbroke, Ill., owns the patent for olefin metathesis and also has received a federal grant from the U.S. DOE to construct a chemical refining addition to Renewable Energy Group Inc.'s biodiesel plant in Newton, Iowa.

These monies provide incentive "to secure this shovel-ready demonstration project being built in Newton, where it will create 40 to 50 skilled positions in 2010," said Iowa's Office of Energy Independence in a prepared statement. "The plant will be used to evaluate a variety of renewable feedstocks, produce products for market development and develop data that can be applied in the design of a commercial scale unit."
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