BusinessBriefs: Companies, Organizations & People in the News

By | August 19, 2009
>Hotels are turning to biodiesel in the greening of their operations. The Hilton Americas-Houston took delivery of its first load of B95, which will be used to power the emergency generator, in July. The hotel also regularly recycles the 14,000 pounds of kitchen oil used annually as part of its environmental efforts that have earned it the silver level Green Seal Environmental Standard for Lodging Properties. A second hotel chain, The Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, now has more than 22 of its locations worldwide converting their waste vegetable oil to biodiesel in a variety of local partnerships. Fairmont's biodiesel initiative is part of its energy and carbon management program. It also is a member of WWF's global Climate Savers Program.

>SRS Engineering Corp. finalized a contract with ReNvision Biofuels Inc. to build a 10 MMgy biodiesel plant in Alberta. SRS will provide complete design and engineering services and the equipment to build the plant. ReNvision is planning a multifeedstock plant using animal fats, canola and camelina. The new biodiesel producer is being aided by a recently adopted national B2 mandate for diesel and heating oil by 2012 and an Alberta provincial government B2 mandate in diesel to be implemented in July of 2010.

>China Clean Energy Inc. announced in its second quarter financial report that construction of its 30 MMgy Jiangyin plant was expected to be completed by the fourth quarter. The new capacity added to its previous 3 MMgy capacity will make the company China's second largest biodiesel producer. The new plant will also have the capability to produce up to 30,000 tons of specialty chemicals. According to the company Web site, its product categories include polyamide hot-melt adhesives, printing inks, alcohol and benzene-soluble polyamide resins and various fatty acids.

>Green Fuels Exchange, Des Moines, Iowa, reported its business has done well in spite of the soft market. GFEX offers trading on recycled oils and has developed a verified seller program to guarantee that parties who offer product for sale can guarantee delivery. "Our objective is to expand into biodiesel and renewable identification numbers within the next six to 12 months," Chris Draper, GFEX spokesman said. GFEX performed very well during the first half of the year, he reported, bringing in $800,000 in revenue and exceeding the expectations of market analysts. Some companies are investigating the possibility of offering a biodiesel price index but developing that product could be very difficult, he added.

>Lindsay Corp., Omaha, Neb., has produced an eight-page brochure "Improving Biofuel ROI Through Efficient Irrigation Solutions." The information covers key biofuel crops and their benefits, market growth opportunities and irrigation management recommendations to optimize yield and quality. Soybeans, canola and jatropha are among the biofuel crops discussed. The brochure provides a step-by-step guide to planning a biofuels irrigation project, detailing factors to consider such as water use, soil type, climate and growing system. Lindsay manufactures and markets irrigation equipment.

>Bryan Willson, co-founder and chief technology officer of Solix Biofuels Inc., was named to the 2009 list for "Scientific American 10: Guiding Science of Humanity" for his work at Colorado State University in designing efficient fuel stoves for developing countries and an affordable conversion kit to dramatically improve the fuel efficiency of two-stroke engines. As CTO of Solix, Willson developed technology for algae production. In July, Solix began inoculating its Coyote Gulch Demonstration Facility located on a two-acre site on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation with expectations of being in full operation by late summer.

>New York City's Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance celebrated its "City of Water Day" by using approximately 2,000 gallons of biodiesel and ultra low sulfur diesel in five historic boats. The event promoted the use of alternative fuels in the city's fleets and heavy equipment. Brooklyn-based Metro Terminals provided the fuel for the event. The family-owned heating oil, diesel and gasoline terminal is expanding its biodiesel handling capacity at its Brooklyn Waterfront location.

>Isis, a little-known oilseed under development as a feedstock, is the focus of a recently signed cooperative agreement between two Ukrainian companies, Landkom International PLC and Sunfuel Ukraine LLC. The parties have jointly tested isis in the Ukraine, Europe and South Africa with leading universities and commercial fuel companies. Under the agreement they will be commercializing the new crop, which can be grown on marginal quality or fallow farming land with reduced fertilizer requirements.

>Ardent Energy Group Inc. of Sacramento has entered into an agreement with Belgium's Distribution and Finance S.A., Distrifina for the importation and distribution of jatropha and castor oil as feedstocks for the European biodiesel market. Distrifina has the option of providing financing and equipment for crushing and refining these feedstocks. AEG reported that Distrifina has the infrastructure and expertise that will solve the logistical challenges of distribution, which have prevented the large scale availability of non-edible oilseed in Europe.

>Dover Chemical Corp. has introduced a new chemical additive for biodiesel to prevent deposits from developing on engine components. "It acts as a detergent to prevent carbon contamination on engines," said Corky Thacker, spokesman for Dover. Polyisobutylene succinic anhydride (PIBSA) is a versatile chemical intermediate that adds functionality, particularly dispersion, to hydrocarbon products used in a wide range of applications. With the increase in biodiesel blending, the company suggests that biodiesel marketers offering fuel packages to distributors can use the additive as a selling point that their fuel will have minimal deposit formaton.

>An explosion and subsequent fire damaged a commercial biodiesel production plant in Chicago on July 17 and injured two workers, according to the U.S. DOE reporting service. Columbus Foods Co. produces approximately 4.5 MMgy from soy oil and canola oil. Chicago Fire Department authorities reported that an investigation into the cause of the explosion is underway.

>Kathy Bryan, president and co-founder of BBI International, died on July 11 in her Salida, Colo., home after a courageous 14-month battle with cancer. Bryan, 63, and her husband Mike co-founded BBI International as a renewable fuels consulting business. She was the impetus behind what became a group of renewable energy magazines beginning with the Energy Independent Newsletter, which later became Ethanol Producer Magazine. Biodiesel Magazine was the second industry magazine launched in 2004, followed by Biomass Magazine three years later. Bryan contributed to the quality and integrity of BBI International's publications and conferences in innumerable ways. Her leadership, guidance, and her vast industry connections were invaluable to the success of the company and the development of the industries she served.

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