CEP markets biodiesel as energy substitute for coal

By Bryan Sims | October 27, 2011

Dothan, Ala.-based renewable energy solutions firm Clean Energy Pathways Inc. has introduced a new line of custom-blended biodiesel for use as a Btu-substitute in coal-fired utility and commercial boilers, or for use in diesel-powered equipment.

Available as B20, B100 or other custom blends, the new fuels significantly reduce SOx, carbon dioxide and fly ash, as well as efficiency-robbing buildup of slag and soot that forms on boiler tubes during start-up, according to CEP CEO Gregory Clemons. He said the fuels meet ASTM D6751 specification and meets the criteria to quality for RFS2, creates carbon tax credits and will quality for the Renewable Electric Producer Tax Credit at 2.2 cents per kilowatt; or 22 cents per gallon based on 10 kilowatts per gallon.

The federal renewable electricity production tax credit is a per-kilowatt-hour tax credit for electricity generated by qualified energy resources and sold by the taxpayer to an unrelated person during the taxable year. Originally enacted in 1992, the PTC has been renewed and expanded numerous times, most recently by H.R. 1424 (Div. B, Sec. 101 & 102) in October 2008 and again by H.R. 1 (Div. B, Section 1101 & 1102) in February 2009.

“You have to be producing electricity with [the biodiesel],” Clemons said. “That’s the caveat with it.”

Tested as a coal substitute in a circulating fluidized bed boiler, CEP found that the new fuel reduced coal consumption by 10 percent, in turn cutting the SOx and CO2 emissions from coal by 10 percent.

Because B100 fuel is water-soluble the risks of costly hazardous-material cleanup are minimized when used in this type of application. With 50 percent higher Btu content per cubic foot than Powder River Basin (PSB) coal, the new fuels will be space-efficient for storage. Compared to outdoor storage of coal, biodiesel is less prone to moisture, which keeps the Btu content consistent.

CEP doesn’t produce the biodiesel, according to Clemons, rather the company will source B99 product from a consortium of producers derived from almost any feedstock except animal fats or tallows.

“Even though they meet ASTM specification, we don’t like to mess with those,” Clemons said.

Distributing biodiesel is CEP’s core business, he added.

CEP, formerly XcelPlus Global Holdings, focuses its business on multiple solutions that aid businesses and government facilities in attaining energy independence, reduced costs and a cleaner environment. In July, CEP signed a letter of intent to provide 40,000 barrels (about 1.68 million gallons) of biodiesel to Calverton, Md.-based fuel distributor Dorly Petroleum.


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