Enzymatic biodiesel pilot plant to open soon

By | June 15, 2010

Posted June 21, 2010

Piedmont Biofuels LLC will unveil its newest technology for renewable fuel production at a ribbon-cutting event and lunch July 16 from 11pm to 1pm. Speakers at the event will include the NC Biofuels Center's Steven Burke and the candidate for North Carolina's Senate seat.

The enzymatic biodiesel pilot plant was developed in partnership with the Biofuels Center of North Carolina, Novozymes and the Chatham County Economic Development Corporation. This is the first pilot plant of its kind in the U.S. and uses cutting edge technology developed by Piedmont Biofuels and Novozymes to create high-quality biodiesel from low-quality waste grease.

The current biodiesel production method forms soaps or salts in both the biodiesel and glycerin phases, producing low-grade coproducts.

"This new process of using enzymes to produce biodiesel will increase yields, decrease waste and allows producer to use lower cost feedstocks," says Greg Austic of Piedmont Biofuels. "This groundbreaking technology will create more valuable coproducts, and will allow existing producers to double their biodiesel output." Glycerin, a co-product resulting from the enzymatic process can be used to make a wide variety of products, including bioplastics and solvents.

Since 2006, Piedmont Biofuels has operated a commercial biodiesel plant in Pittsboro, N.C., and continues to be a leader in alternative fuels through its cutting edge research and design departments.

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