BDI strengthens US market position as Crimson upgrades completed

By Ron Kotrba | October 20, 2016

When Crimson Renewable Energy LP announced the unveiling of its newly revamped biodiesel facility in Bakersfield, California, earlier this month, what went unmentioned is that Styria, Austria-based BDI-BioEnergy International AG’s RetroFit technology is behind the process upgrades and expansion.

BDI’s RetroFit technology includes a custom-approach to process optimization tailored for the individual plant, from adjustments in the use of operating materials all the way to the complex integration of new process steps, the company says.

As part of its process optimization, BDI’s RetroFit program includes raw material preparation, esterification of feedstock with high free fatty acid (FFA) content, and biodiesel and glycerin distillation.

The combination of approaches in BDI’s RetroFit technology has allowed Crimson Renewable Energy to triple its biodiesel production to 24 MMgy while becoming much more feedstock flexible.

“The excellent cooperation of the project teams of Crimson and BDI led to a smooth, fast workflow resulting in a successful commissioning of our newly expanded biodiesel plant,” said Harry Simpson, CEO of Crimson Renewable Energy. “We are very pleased that Crimson will increase its already significant role in helping California achieve its carbon reduction goals, which interestingly was initiated by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is also from Styria, Austria.”

BDI Chief Scientific Officer Edgar Ahn said with the completion of this project, BDI is effectively strengthening its presence in the U.S. biodiesel market. “Our internationally successful RetroFit program helped our customer to update its existing plant to the latest technology,” Ahn said. “With waste-based biodiesel production, they will be able to make an important contribution to California‘s environmental targets.” 


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