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Business Briefs

By | March 23, 2010
Metro Biofuels of Brooklyn, N.Y., secured a supply contract with Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens to deliver its branded biodiesel-blended heating oil, Greenheat, to the television studio, which was founded in 1920. The studios, home to Sesame Street for 17 years as well as other television shows, movies and commercials, previously used straight No. 4 and No. 6 residual heating oils, but is now using 5 percent biodiesel in its residual heating oil. Metro will supply Kaufman Astoria Studios with 80,000 gallons a year of Greenheat, which amounts to about 4,000 gallons of B100 in the B5 blend. Studio President Hal Rosenbluth said, "We are thrilled to answer the Mayor's call to action for a greener New York by using Metro's biodiesel fuel."

A new biodiesel plant, EDG Fuels, opened in Tucson, Ariz. , in mid-March. Owned by Environmental Development Group, the facility is scaled to produce up to 3 MMgy of biodiesel in its first year of production, with potential to expand to 6 MMgy the following year. Feedstock for the biodiesel refinery will be used cooking oils collected from Tucson-area businesses through Enjoy Dining Green, a "coalition of concerned and environmentally conscious people and restaurants united to practice environmentally sustainable recycling in the form of used cooking oil to biodiesel processing," EDG Fuels stated. Enjoy Dining Green offers free collection containers and service, and members get discounts on combined service packages such as grease interceptor maintenance, facilities maintenance and plumbing.

U.S. Foodservice-San Francisco, the only green-certified broadline food distributor in California-one of only a handful across the country-is now running its entire delivery fleet on B5. All of the San Francisco division's 136 tractors and 148 trailers began using B5 last month. The B5 costs on average about two cents more per gallon than diesel fuel but its use is expected to reduce U.S. Foodservice-San Francisco's carbon dioxide emissions by 333 metric tons-or 734,000 pounds-annually. The biodiesel is locally sourced and refined, a product of Western States Oil, San Jose. Biodiesel is not new to U.S. Foodservice-San Francisco. The division, which serves northern California from Monterey to Redding, has been experimenting with the fuel since 2006. San Francisco is the fourth U.S. Foodservice division to use biodiesel in its fleet, joining divisions in Atlanta, Streator, Ill., and Plymouth, Minn.


Colby B. Warr, CPA has joined independent certified public accounting firm Weaver and Tidwell LLP (now doing business as Weaver), as a senior manager for Assurance Services in the firm's Houston office. Warr brings to Weaver 10 years experience in PricewaterhouseCoopers' energy assurance practice, where he served small and large oil and gas companies. His practice concentration is in financial statement audits and reviews, due diligence and agreed-upon procedures. His industry experience includes all aspects of the energy arena, including multinational majors and national oil companies, as well as local owners and operators, upstream and downstream activities, retail energy and utility providers, including retail natural gas and alternative energy companies. Warr is a graduate of Brigham Young University.


A natural gas processing firm that intends to extend the national diesel pool is set to operate next month in the Reno-Tahoe Industrial Park outside Reno, Nev. Advanced Refining Concepts liquifies natural gas and processes it until it resembles No. 1 diesel. This liquid is then blended with conventional diesel fuel to form ARC's trademarked GDiesel. "It's basically an upgraded oil terminal," said Peter Gunnerman, CEO of ARC. "We have four 5,000-barrel storage tanks, a loading rack, the main [processing building] and an electrical building. We operate at low-temperature and low-pressure, so we don't need a lot of equipment." Phase 1 of ARC's Nevada plant will produce 100,000 gallons per day of its inaugural product.


Schroeder Biofuels recently announced two new product sizes for its trademarked ColdClear, a multi-stage treatment system for solving the cold soak dilemma in biodiesel and biodiesel blends. After success with the ColdClear units that can process 5, 15 and 45 gallons per minute, Schroeder saw the need for units with greater throughput. Thus, the company developed the BCC1200 unit, which can handle 60 gpm; and the BCC1500 unit for processing 75 gpm. With the introduction of these new sizes, ColdClear can now be implemented in larger biodiesel plants and diesel fuel distribution centers. ColdClear, developed by Schroeder BioFuels, is a patent pending technology to ensure that any potential factors in biodiesel that would initiate crystallization or plugging are dramatically reduced.

Toyota Tsusho Corp. is looking to invest in the Philippine biodiesel industry by investing in jatropha plantations and biodiesel production facilities in General Santos and Davao in the next two years, according to a recent report in the Manila Times. These facilities will help fulfil not only the Philippine biodiesel mandate, but also several Asian markets and Europe. Toyota Tsusho started its joint venture study with Dole Philippines in July on 50 to 200 hectares of land. This endeavor appears to be Toyota Tsusho's first venture into biofuels production and, depending on its success, expansion into Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand is possible.

ClearFuels Technology Inc.
and Hughes Hardwood International Inc. executed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding the development of a commercial scale biorefinery facility for the production of renewable jet or diesel fuel, which is slated for co-location with Hughes Hardwood's wood component products manufacturing facility in Collinwood, Tenn. Under the MOU, Hughes Hardwood will supply 1,000 dry tons of wood product per day for conversion into approximately 16 million gallons of synthetic jet or diesel fuel and 4 million gallons of naphtha annually, and approximately 8 megawatts of excess renewable power. The project is currently expected to be operational by early 2014.

Elevance Renewable Sciences Inc., the biochemical company whose Nobel prize-winning technology, olefin metathesis, will be deployed in Central Iowa Energy's biodiesel plant, recently hired Steve DiBiase as chief scientific officer (CSO). DiBiase will lead the development of Elevance's technology roadmap and external technology assessment, research proposals for external funding and contribute to the development of innovative products. Prior to joining Elevance, DiBiase served as CSO for JohnsonDiversey. Previously, he served as vice president of research, development and engineering for Lubrizol, where he played a key role in the development of lubricants made from sunflower oil.

Damascus, Md.-based Syndication Inc. is constructing a biodiesel plant in Kingstree, S.C. A 75,000-square-foot warehouse is being outfitted with two Denami 600 biodiesel production units purchased from Methes Energies International Ltd. Each 16-foot by 20-foot continuous flow Denami 600 unit can process 158 gallons per hour, or 1.3 MMgy. A $5 million loan Syndication secured in January, plus another $1.5 million in company cash matching, brings the total project cost to $6.5 million.

Canadian biodiesel producer Biox Corp. and JJR IV Acquisition Inc. recently completed "the amalgamation of Biox and JJR to form a company known as Biox Corp., which resulted in the reverse takeover of JJR," the company stated in a March 1 news release. "In connection with the completion of the qualifying transaction, the common shares of Biox will be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange effective on March 2 under the symbol BX and the common shares of JJR will be delisted from the TSX Venture Exchange."

Thermex Engineered Systems Inc. has developed HeatProbes, a patent-pending retrofit system for heating non-insulated biodiesel tankers during cold weather transport. Using waste heat from the truck engine's coolant, the HeatProbes are installed through a two-inch tank port. Supply and return lines are joined to the vehicle's coolant lines, allowing engine heat to be transferred to the biodiesel in the tanker. A HeatProbe system can be installed on any tanker truck or trailer and multiple probes and multiple tanks can be plumbed up in parallel sequence. The HeatProbe system imparts sufficient heat to the biodiesel to withstand temperatures of minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit in non-insulated tankers. The system, which heats the biodiesel "intank" to overcome fuel clouding and filter plugging, can also be used on vehicles and equipment that operate in the cold. 
 

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