BECON biodiesel facility starts up

By | August 01, 2005
The Iowa Energy Center's Biomass Energy Conversion Center in Nevada, Iowa, is nearing completion of a $500,000 upgrade to its biodiesel facility.

When Biodiesel Magazine spoke with Facility Manager Norm Olson in mid-July, the facility was going through final control testing before start-up. The facility will produce 60 gallons of biodiesel per hour, or about 500,000 gallons per year.

The facility will now be able to operate 24 hours per day, mainly through computer control. Iowa State University's Energy Center, Mid-States Biodiesel and Minneapolis-based Superior Process Technologies began rebuilding the plant last fall. Improvements include the addition of 12,000 gallons of raw product storage, 12,000 gallons of neat biodiesel storage, cooling towers and chillers, and a methanol recovery system. The facility will also operate on a continuous flow process. Olson said the plant will have every component of a major commercial-scale biodiesel plant.

The rebuilt facility will allow Mid-States Biodiesel and Superior Process Technologies the opportunity to showcase new technologies. Although the plant will handle multiple feedstocks, Olson said research would mainly be conducted on yellow grease and brown grease. He said the new plant will create a better understanding of how various animal fats can produce biodiesel, more opportunities for economic development in Iowa, and practical training for Iowa State and community college students.
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