Multi-feedstock plant is first in New York

By | August 01, 2005
A new biodiesel plant using revolutionary new process technology is going to begin operations in New York. NextGen Fuel Inc. is going to begin biodiesel production in the facility that, when construction is finished later this year, will be the second biodiesel plant in New York.
Gov. George Pataki announced the New York State Energy and Research Authority awarded NextGen a $250,000 grant, which will be used for the plant's initial start up.

Using technology developed by Clarkson University, the entrepreneurial company hopes to begin production this fall. "Our technology is a new way to process chemicals," said Jeff DeWeese, president and CEO of NextGen Fuel. "It is based on a theory called chemical process intensification. It takes your typical chemical process and makes everything a lot smaller. We like to say that every molecule receives the same treatment in our process."

The process uses no wastewater, very little electricity and is the most advanced approach to manufacturing biofuels, according to DeWeese.
All washing occurs within each continuous flow reactor.

Each 5 mmgy unit is modular in fashion. Plants that use this system can ramp up production with the addition of the 10-foot by 14-foot skid system. "What we have is a very small reactor that is able to process a very high throughput rate," DeWeese said. "Our reaction takes place in seconds, so we have a reactor that produces very high shear rates. This factor significantly reduces the size of a plant. The reactor is able to handle a variety of feedstocks but will concentrate on soy oil and fryer grease in a continuous process. We can use some of the higher free fatty acid feedstocks as well as the typical soy oils and other oils that are available."

NextGen has partnered with engineering firm O'Brien and Gere to manufacture the skid-mounted units. Capital expenditures at this plant are reported to be 25 cents per gallon. "We are starting off as a pilot, and our intent is to show those interested in building a biodiesel plant how the technology works and all the economics that are associated with the technology," DeWeese said.
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