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Verenium markets biodiesel pretreatment enzyme

By Erin Voegele | December 08, 2011

Verenium Corp. has announced the launch of Purifine phospolipase C (PLC) enzyme for the pretreatment of oils for biodiesel production. The product has been used to process food-grade oils since 2008.

"Since the initial launch of our Purifine PLC enzymatic degumming process, we have seen rapid adoption and success within the edible oil market, and are pleased to now offer an enzymatic degumming solution for the production of biodiesel," said James Levine, president and CEO at Verenium.  "When compared to traditional degumming processes, our Purifine PLC enzyme enables a high yield of oil while at the same time efficiently removing phospholipid impurities. Purifine PLC can also be applied to replace chemical or crude refining, making for a much greener process."



According to Janet Roemer, Verenium’s chief operating officer, Purifine PLC is designed to remove phosphorous impurities from crude soybean, rapeseed and canola oils. While some similar enzymes on the market can actually increase the free fatty acid level of a feedstock, Roemer stresses that is not the case with Purifine PLC.

“One of the key benefits of our product is that it actually gets an increase in the oil from the degumming step,” Roemer added. It also provides a more environmental and cost-effective method to degum oils when compared to caustic refining. In addition, said Roemer, customers using the product have noted that it makes their products flow through processing systems better, and it’s easier on their pumps.

While it is easiest to add an enzyme pretreatment process to a new plant as it is constructed, it is also possible to retrofit existing plants to use the process. According to Roemer, the infrastructure costs are relatively low, and the payback period is swift.

She noted, however, that the enzyme pretreatment may not be the best solution for all plants. Biodiesel facilities located adjacent to crush facilities and those that purchase crude soy oils will benefit most from the process.

 

 

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