Cyclogine markets new biodiesel catalyst

By Nicholas Zeman | February 23, 2010
Posted March 17, 2010

More and more products are surfacing to compete directly with sodium methylate for market share in the catalyst sector of biodiesel processing. As the industry is embracing low-quality feedstocks for production, new catalysts are needed that deal with a variety of animal fats, waste greases and waste vegetable oils. "Sodium methylate works better for very clean, degummed feedstocks," said Jeff Fischer of Cyclogine Inc., a Wisconsin-based, start-up biodiesel technology provider.

Cyclogine is in the processes of bringing to market the third or possibly the fourth generation of its original catalyst, but the technology has not yet been implemented at a biodiesel plant. The company is looking for potential partners-biodiesel plants-to validate the performance of its catalyst at a full-scale operating facility.

One target area for Cyclogine is a practice that has long been thought to create synergies between the ethanol and biodiesel industries. "As a means of increasing their profit margin, the ethanol industry is extracting corn oil prior to or after the starch is removed [to ferment]," Cyclogine said. "This corn oil can be used to produce biodiesel. However, their corn oil is usually extracted after fermentation, leaving it contaminated with a number of undesirable components, and therefore unsuitable for producing clean biodiesel."

Corn oil extracted from the back end of an ethanol plant is a potentially abundant and cheap waste stream that could serve as a biodiesel feedstock. "The problem is that it has a lot of free fatty acids and requires a lot of effort to clean up. Most plants can't convert it, but our catalyst can," Fischer said.

This technology "can be used to build state-of-the-art biodiesel manufacturing plants or modify existing biodiesel manufacturing plants," providing them with additional feedstock choices. In addition, Cyclogine said its advanced technology will make its customers' plants run more efficiently and profitable. "Our processes will strive to recycle and reuse the majority of all chemicals and energy not consumed," the company said.
 
 
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