Company produces glycerin-based fuel

By Erin Voegele | February 10, 2009
Web exclusive posted Feb. 18, 2009, at 4:50 p.m. CST

A Virginia-based company will soon begin commercial production of two respective glycerin-based fuels. Xcelplus Global Holdings Inc., has been working to develop the fuels since 2006. One fuel, trademarked GlyClene, can be used as fuel in standard turbine engines and industrial boiler applications. The other, GlyCoal, can be used to offset the use of coal at power plants. Both GlyClene and GlyCoal are liquid fuels.

Crude glycerin directly out of the biodiesel process is the primary component of both GlyClene and GlyCoal. "We take 100 percent waste glycerin from a biodiesel plant, and we crack it, so the components are really all glycerin," said Bill Smith, Xcelplus Global Holding's chairman. The glycerin is treated with a chemical and thermal heat process to create the fuels. The chemical facilitating compound accounts for less than one percent of the formula, Smith continued. Patents are pending on the proprietary technology.

Xcelplus Global Holdings recently tested GlyClene as a boiler fuel source in Sony International's Dothan, Ala.-based plant, Smith said. That test showed the fuel produced 119,000 British thermal units per gallon. Additional testing is pending at a variety of other facilities, including a chicken plant, a carpet company and an asphalt company. In addition, GlyCoal was recently tested at an 80 megawatt power plant in West Virginia. The fuel was injected directly into the boiler system, said Smith, and resulted in a 10 percent offset of the plant's coal consumption.

GlyClene was the first fuel Xcelplus Global Holdings developed. The company then developed GlyCoal as a byproduct of GlyClene production. Both fuels have been produced on a bench- and pilot-scale; the company is now ramping up to commercially produce the fuels.

To commercialize their technology, Xcelplus Global Holdings is acquiring and modifying biodiesel plants. Smith said the company is currently ramping to 10 MMgy at one facility, and will likely produce more than 50 MMgy of the fuels in 2009. Smith estimated the facilities could begin commercial production within 90 to 120 days.
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