Business Briefs

By | December 21, 2009
-Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. announced that Imperium Renewables, one of the largest U.S. producers of biodiesel, has chosen the powerful iCAP 6000 Series ICP emission spectrometer to analyze biodiesel. The Thermo Scientific iCAP 6000 Series helps accurately measure the trace element content of biodiesel to ensure it complies with the strict worldwide regulations governing the biodiesel industry.

-Syntroleum Corp.'s poultry-fat-based jet fuel passed tests conducted by the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Southwest Research Institute. Syntroleum provided 600 gallons of fuel produced using its Bio-Synfining process to undergo physical property and T63 engine testing. The fuel's performance was indistinguishable from Syntroleum's Fischer-Tropsch synthetic (parrafinic-kerosene-based) jet fuel that passed B-52 flight tests in 2006. Additional combustor and fuel pump tests are underway and the first stages have begun for the fuel's MIL-HDBK-510 alternative fuel certification. A 75 MMgy plant using the Bio-Synfining process is expected to be completed in 2010 at Geismer, La., by Dynamic Fuels LLC, the joint venture between Syntroleum and Tyson Foods Inc.

-Gen-X Energy Group Inc. is rebuilding in Richland, Wash., 15 miles away from the location of its two-year-old plant in Burbank, Wash., that was destroyed in a July fire. CEO Scott Johnson said the fire started in a portable outhouse outside the building. Plans are to double production to a 10 MMgy multi-feedstock biodiesel plant. Rail lines at the 15 acre site are being installed now and engineering work has begun on the site and tank farm. "We have the reactor part engineered already," Johnson said. "We were getting ready to put our second generation reactor in the plant when it burned down." The new system will be less energy and water intensive than the original plant.

-Petrobras Biofuels has acquired a 50 percent stake in the 120 MMly (30 MMgy) BSBIOS SA biodiesel plant nearing completion in Marialva, Parana. The Parana plant will give the Brazilian state-run Petrobras Biofuels a presence in the country's southern region. Petrobras currently has a capacity of 324 MMly with plants in Montes Claro, Dandeia and Quixada. BSBIOS is one of the largest biodiesel producers in southern Brazil with a 160 MMly plant in Passo Fundo using soybean, canola and sunflower oil. Brazil is advancing the implementation of a B5 mandate from 2013 to 2010, which will increase Brazil's biodiesel production to 2.4 billion liters, making Brazil the second largest producer of biofuels in the world.

-Zenergy International Inc. announced a feedstock agreement in November that will allow the company to restart operations at the 5 MMgy Littlefield, Texas, biodiesel plant acquired this fall from Greenlight Biofuels Ltd. Earlier this year, Zenergy completed a reverse merger with Paradigm Tactical Products Inc., with Zenergy founder Robert Luiten named CEO of the merged company, which maintained the Zenergy name.

-Wika Instrument Corp. is offering its WIKA 43X.50 diaphragm pressure gauges for the process industry. Suitable for corrosive environments of gaseous, liquid or highly viscous media, the 433.50 has a glycerin-filled case for applications with high dynamic pressure pulsations or vibration. The 432.50 has a dry case. The stainless steel gauge comes in 4-inch and 6-inch sizes. Wika produces more than 40 million gauges, diaphragm seals, transmitters and thermometers distributed worldwide annually from its facility at Lawrenceville, Ga.

-Blackmer, a division of Dover Corp.'s pump solutions group, has announced the marketing of its HXL sliding vane pumps for terminal storage switchover applications, having the "unique capabilities to quickly and efficiently evacuate product from large liquid storage terminals," the company said. "In today's economic environment, efficient liquid terminal operations depend on the ability to react quickly to market opportunities and handle a wide variety of products."

-Flow Line Options Corp. (Flo-Corp) announced in November it had supplied Smart Fuels LLC, a biodiesel plant finalizing construction in Fruitland, Fla., with process measurement and control solutions. Some of the equipment installed at the facility includes MEMFlo volumetric flow meters and MFT two-wire flow transmitters to monitor the flow rate through the heaters and to calculate the amount of oil going to the reactor. Other installed equipment includes Flo-Corp's EchoSafe ultrasonic-level transmitters to gauge fluid levels in the tanks, and CalFlo SwitchGuard flow and temperature switches for additional protection.

-BioCat Fuels, founded in 2008 to partner with McNeff Research Consultants to commercialize the Mcgyan biodiesel process technology, is looking to raise $7 million through a private placement memorandum to launch a new biodiesel project using Mcgyan reactors. Ric Larson, BioCat CEO, said the company plans to build a new plant in Illinois or retrofit a closed biodiesel plant. The BioCat Fuels private placement memorandum offers shares at $1 with a minimum purchase of 20,000 shares.

-Houston-based engineers and biodiesel blenders the Hammonds Companies has several new products making their debut this month in its Biobor line of fuel additives. Specifically, Biobor MD promises to enhance fuel performance and economy, aid in lubricity, which is extremely critical with the use of low sulfur diesel, clean up the engine by reducing sludge build-up, and prevent gelling of the fuel. Biobor has focused on eliminating the microorganisms as the "industry standard for 30 years" but the new products-Bibor MD, Biobor EB and the Hum-Bug detector kit-are designed in particular for marine applications.

-Installation-ready technology for piping systems allows crews to assemble joints with the use of couplings and standard hand tools, said Easton, Pa.'s Victaulic Co. "This line of technology-with no loose parts and no requirement to disassemble before installation-helps plant owners and contractors meet fast-tracked construction schedules while reducing total installed costs," the company said about the addition of the Style 177 flexible coupling to its product line, which launched in November.

-Renewable jet fuel developed by the Energy & Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota and the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has won the Best of What's New Award from Popular Science in the aviation and space category. The awards were announced in the December issue of Popular Science. Best of What's New recognizes outstanding innovation, vision and execution of revolutionary products and technologies from companies, universities, laboratories and government agencies.
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