Business Briefs

By Ron Kotrba | November 17, 2014

The California Energy Commission approved a grant award of $4.18 million to biodiesel producer Community Fuels to support installation of new equipment that will increase efficiencies and expand the range of low-carbon feedstocks that its 15 MMgy Port of Stockton plant can process. “Community Fuels is currently completing two projects—expanding production capacity and building an advanced biofuel terminal,” says Lisa Mortenson, co-founder and CEO. “This new award is for a third, distinct project that is complementary to our current projects. We planned our business to be built in an incremental manner while we validated various technologies and market conditions. This new project will position Community Fuels to serve the future needs of California’s transportation fuel market.” American Biodiesel Inc., doing business as Community Fuels, has been in operation since 2008, and built its biodiesel production facility using proprietary technology. Community Fuels was the first in the nation to earn both BQ-9000 producer and laboratory certifications.

A biodiesel plant under construction at the 50 MMgy Adkins Energy LLC ethanol refinery in Lena, Illinois, was slated to produce its first gallons of fuel in October, according to Ray Baker, general manager of Adkins Energy. This first-of-its-kind, co-located and fully integrated 2 MMgy biodiesel processing facility, designed and built by WB Services LLC, is fed by distillers corn oil, a coproduct of ethanol production. The plant will be capable of both enzymatic and chemical biodiesel processing. In September, Bernie Hoffman, chief operating officer and partner at WB Services, told Biodiesel Magazine Adkins Energy personnel began training at WB Services’ now-operational 2 MMgy Green Energy Products biodiesel plant in Sedgwick, Kansas, an identical model of the plant co-located at Adkins Energy minus the ethanol plant integration features.

Blue Sun Biodiesel has received BQ-9000 Producer status from the National Biodiesel Accreditation Commission and National Biodiesel Board. Fewer than 50 companies have achieved this milestone recognition. BQ-9000 is a cooperative and voluntary program for the accreditation of producers and marketers of biodiesel fuel. The Blue Sun process includes a biodiesel distillation step, which further elevates the quality of the fuel. Blue Sun fuel exceeds ASTM D6751, particularly in low contaminants including very low monoglycerides (below 0.1 percent) and excellent cold soak performance. The Blue Sun St. Joe Refinery is a 30 MMgy facility centrally located in St. Joseph, Missouri. The refinery completed its first-of-a-kind enzymatic transesterification process in late 2013.

Startup company Corn Oil One announced it has broken ground on its new distillers corn oil (DCO) frac facility that will use a patent-pending process to purify components out of DCO, such as waxes and free fatty acids, which require pretreatment before conversion to biodiesel. The new frac plant, co-located with the 110 MMgy Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy ethanol plant in Council Bluffs, Iowa, is expected to be completed early next year. It will be scaled to process up to 15 MMgy of DCO. ICM Inc. of Colwich, Kansas, is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the project. Once operational, FEC Solutions, the exclusive purchasing agent for Corn Oil One, will source millions of gallons of DCO annually for the new facility. U.S. ethanol producers supply about 200 MMgy of DCO as a byproduct of ethanol production. The company says its new product will increase the use of DCO in biodiesel production by eliminating the need for pretreatment systems. Roughly 142 million gallons of DCO is used to produce biodiesel.

Chad Stone, the chief financial officer for Renewable Energy Group Inc., has been named the new chair of the Iowa Biodiesel Board. Stone joined REG as its CFO in August 2009. Prior to that, he spent more than 17 years in public accounting and consulting in various roles, including director at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Chicago and Cincinnati and manager at Arthur Andersen in Chicago. “I am grateful for this opportunity to lead the Iowa Biodiesel Board and excited to continue the outstanding advocacy efforts of Mark Cobb, our board members and staff,” Stone says. “IBB has, and will continue to play an instrumental role in promoting the economic, energy security, and environmental benefits that biodiesel provides to Iowa and America.” Stone holds a master’s degree in finance from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and a bachelor’s degree  in accounting from the University of Iowa. Stone and his wife Julie live in Ames with their two sons.

Porto, Portugal-based biodiesel technology provider IncBio announced it has signed a contract with SPA Renewables SA to supply a 2.4 MMgy biodiesel plant to be installed in Corinth, Greece. According to IncBio, the plant will use its ultrasonic reactors to produce EN14214 biodiesel from used cooking oil collected locally. IncBio expects the plant to be complete by the end of February.

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