Business Briefs: Companies, Organizations & People in the News

By | March 09, 2009
›Guelph, Ontario-based biodiesel producer and waste vegetable oil renderer Rothsay Biodiesel has contracted with Compass Group Canada to collect waste cooking oils and greases from Compass' food service facilities across Canada, specifically from Manitoba to Newfoundland. Rothsay, which operates five rendering facilities in Canada, intends to use the supply of collected waste vegetable oils as a feedstock at its 35 MMly (9.2 MMgy) biodiesel plant in Montreal. Compass' contract with Rothsay will be fulfilled throughout 2009, according to Compass spokeswoman Cindy Harris.

›In January, New Generation Biofuels Holdings Inc. announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with First Florida Biofuels LLC to pursue the development of potential biofuel projects in Florida. Under the agreement, New Generation Biofuels will provide the technology and know-how for the development of a potential joint venture, while First Florida Biofuels will contribute its marketing expertise and arrange financing for the projects. New Generation Biofuels' technology utilizes the same feedstocks as biodiesel but produces a biofuel that more closely resembles vegetable oil. While biodiesel is manufactured through the transesterification process, this new fuel is made using an emulsification process.

›PAC LP, a division of Roper Industries Inc., and Metrohm USA Inc. announced a partnership that will provide complete analytical testing solutions to the biofuels industry. Each company has served the needs of ethanol and biodiesel laboratories with its own portfolios of complementary instruments, reagents and technical support. This cooperative now offers these labs a comprehensive solution with the goal of helping them conform to ASTM test requirements.

›Ohio-based Cognis Corp. has added an On-Demand option to its QTA System that allows biodiesel plants to test fuel quality on a per-sample basis. The facilities can send Cognis a raw sample of biodiesel and receive test results back via e-mail within 24 hours.

Similarly, the National Institute of Standards and Technology has developed a faster stability testing method for soy-based biodiesel. The method approximates both oxidation and heating effects without causing biodiesel to break down.

Meanwhile, Rohm and Haas Co. has launched a feedstock purification technology to convert free fatty acids into biodiesel. Ambersep BD19 can replace or supplement conventional degumming processes and extend the life of esterification catalysts.

›The University of North Dakota's Energy & Environmental Research Center has launched a $1 million project to evaluate renewable oil refining technologies using North Dakota oilseed crops such as crambe processed at a Tesoro Cos. Inc. oil refinery in Mandan, N.D. Crambe is a drought-tolerant, low-input, nonfood oilseed crop. The collaboration between the EERC and Tesoro is being funded with $500,000 from the North Dakota Industrial Commission and an equal amount from the U.S. Department of Defense. The EERC is building on previous work done for the DOD to produce renewable fuels indistinguishable from their petroleum-derived counterparts.

›Cleveland-based Arisdyne Systems Inc. has named Paul Mulhollem to its company's board of directors. Mulhollem served four years as president and chief operating officer of Archer Daniels Midland Co., and also worked for Continental Grain Co. and Cargill Inc. Arisdyne has also promoted Paul Reinking to vice president of sales engineering from his previous position as operations manager. Arisdyne has developed a high-speed biodiesel process using hydrodynamic cavitation technology.

›Australia-based Jatoil Ltd. has named former Royal Dutch Shell PLC executive Phil Hodgson chief executive officer. He joined the board in October as a nonexecutive director. A chemical engineer with a doctorate from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, Hodgson held positions at Shell that involved refinery supply, economics and planning, and risk management for a major fuels portfolio. He also gained sales and general management experience. Jatoil is focused on developing Jatropha curcas as a biodiesel feedstock.

›Philadelphia-based BlackGold Biofuels (formerly Philadelphia Fry-o-Diesel) has been named the technology provider for a demonstration-scale biodiesel plant in San Francisco that will convert brown grease into ASTM-quality biodiesel, according to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. The new facility at the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant is expected to be complete in November and will produce 100,000 gallons of biodiesel yearly, BlackGold estimated. In addition, the SFPUC said it received $175,000 from the U.S. EPA to publish a how-to manual for other cities. The city received $1 million from the California Energy Commission in May for the project.

›Renewable fuel veteran John Sheehan has joined the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment as scientific program coordinator for biofuels. He has much experience in renewable energy development, spending nearly 20 years with the U.S. DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory conducting work on system dynamic models for strategic and policy decision-making related to biodiesel and ethanol. In his new position, he will focus particularly on the direct and indirect consequences of biofuels production on land use across the world.

›David Sams has joined Iowa-based biodiesel production technology developer Catilin Inc. as vice president of business development. He has more than 20 years of experience in the petrochemical manufacturing industry, has held engineering leadership positions for Shell Oil Co., and has led sales and business development activities for WR Grace and Oryxe Energy International Inc. Most recently, he served as senior vice president of supply and marketing at Oryxe Energy. In his new position, he will be responsible for developing and maintaining company partnerships on a global basis.

›In late January, Innovation Fuels Inc. announced the formation of a new company in partnership with Tanco Milwaukee LLC called Innovation Fuels Tanco Milwaukee, which will operate a 10-acre, 312,000-barrel (13.1-million gallon) terminal in the Port of Milwaukee, Wis. In addition to the storage capacity, the site is equipped with a 20,000-square-foot warehouse, garage and offices. It has an idled connection to the Westshore petroleum pipeline, as well.

Innovation Fuels announced another partnership in January with Mitchell Supreme Fuel Co., a New Jersey-based supplier of home heating oil, to provide biodiesel-blended heating oil to the East Coast.

›San Francisco-based Sirona Fuels Inc. announced in early February during the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo that it had purchased Blue Sky Bio-Fuels and its 15 MMgy biodiesel plant in Oakland, Calif., which uses waste vegetable oils as a feedstock. "We plan to grow the company exponentially by acquiring more refineries, and aggressively expanding our local and international feedstock supplies," said Paul Lacrouciere, chief executive officer of Sirona Fuels, who has 20 years of experience in the energy business.
According to Sirona Fuels, the company intends to commercially produce jatropha-based biodiesel by the end of 2009.

›Iowa-based biodiesel producer Riksch BioFuels LLC has added new information to its Web site that aims to educate equipment owners and operators interested in becoming involved in the biodiesel industry. The Web site, developed by Iowa-based consulting firm Purple Wren, now includes basic definitions and advice for the construction industry, as well. In addition to information on where to find and how to use biodiesel, the site features a blog, which allows users to subscribe to e-mail alerts regarding national trend analyses and advice on utilizing biodiesel, according to Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Don Miksch. To utilize this new information, visit
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