FirmTec to ship novel unit to Waterland

By Ron Kotrba | July 10, 2013

In June, Dutch company FirmTec was scheduled to deliver an enzymatic biodiesel plant using ethanol instead of methanol to Indonesian firm Waterland, which plans to convert camelina oil to biodiesel with the new unit. Conventional biodiesel processes use petroleum-based methanol. The worldwide patent on this alternative method, invented by the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany, has been bought by the Indonesian company Waterland.

Waterland grows oil-bearing crops in proximity to food crops (intercropping) in countries across Asia. These crops are grown using sustainable practices, with minimal use of synthetic fertilizers and crop protection agents. The company also intends to produce its own ethanol, which is needed for the new process, meaning Waterland will soon be producing all the raw materials necessary for the new green biodiesel and no longer will be dependent on fluctuating global market prices for vegetable oil and methanol.

This enzymatic biodiesel plant in Bali will be put into operation in mid-September. There are already a number of generators on Bali, which provide the island with electricity. One of these generators will generate electricity using this new enzymatic biodiesel, which will be produced using the FirmTec system. The Indonesian government is also involved in the project and is assisting with rapid implementation of this type of biodiesel. Several world leaders and CEOs will be meeting at a conference on sustainability on Bali at the beginning of October, including U.S. President Barack Obama, who plans to visit the new plant.

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