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Black-Box Biodiesel

20 February 2006

A startup Utah company—Domestic Energy Partners (DEP)—claims to have developed a simplified process for the production of biodiesel from virgin or waste oil that will support systems that produce as much as 2.25 million gallons per year or as little as needed for a single home.

The DEP process, according to the company, uses a proprietary solid catalyst that eliminates the need to wash the fuel to remove the acid or base catalyst used in typical production processes. Elimination of the washing step would lower costs, and remove the need for wastewater treatment.

DEP claims high output with minimal space requirements, and the production of biodiesel that meets the ASTM D-6751 standard for B100.

The systems are designed to be automated, and basically out of the hands of the end-users. Sensors and monitors link the on-site equipment to DEP, where technicians monitor the customers’ output and internal readings 24-hours a day. Every two months DEP personnel will visit the customer site to perform routine equipment maintenance. DEP says that its personnel are on-call 24x7 in case of a malfunction.

At a recent demonstration in Salt Lake City, DEP partner Ron Crafts said that the company plans to roll out large-capacity machines suitable for on-site production by companies with large fleets.

Priced at $2 million, each one can produce up to 2.25 million gallons of biodiesel per year, Crafts said. A user can produce biodiesel for the cost of the feed stock plus 40 cents per gallon, or about $1.60 per gallon, Crafts said. (Salt Lake Tribune)

DEP says that it has already sold four of the machines, including one to BioUSA, a startup company that plans to build Utah’s first commercial biodiesel refinery in Springville and begin selling the fuel in late spring.

Domestic Energy Partners says that it plans to release a smaller-capacity machine, suitable for production at home or a small business, in two years.

(A hat-tip to Lucas!)

February 20, 2006 in Biodiesel | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)

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Thank You! Thank you! Thank you!

(NOW --- I just hope this isn't a con job to sell stock.)

If it is real, it could be a big seller in Europe - 50% of cars now sold in Europe are diesel...
Frankly, it does not matter if this one is real. There seems to be so much energy in this sector (+ hybrids etc) that it will be real within a couple of years - it is just a question of who gets it right.
Whoever gets biodiesel right is going to make a lot of money (and will deserve it).
- JM

Their site doesn't really make mention of whether the process still produces glycerol. The Costs page mentions cost per gallon of fuel for methanol, so they are making methyl esters. I guess there has to be glycerol being produced. I guess it would be sold? Doesn't anyone have more information? The glycerol would be higher quality since no caustic was used in the process.

Seems much too good to be true. Is there a working prototype?


Like every skeptic, I'm suspicious when the works are not shown. Been far too much perpetual motion machines concealed in Black boxes.

If this is all above board - and I sincerely hope it is - then I expect that some patents are done or in process.

If you want to share it with the world, don't put it in a box.


These folks have started a website at:http://www.betterbiodiesel.com/index.php

If they are con men I'll have to give them credit. They are really good at it.

They said they have eliminated the need to wash the fuel. Why does this glycerin produced at the first place?

I was at the "Dog and Pony" show where DEP unvailed their patented technology. Their prototype burned up in a mysterious fire two days before the unveiling in the biodiesel shed behind a business in Orem, UTah. So instead of showing us the burnt up prototype, they did their little black box show. They poured about 2 cups of virgin soy oil and a cup of methanol into the black box. He waited about 3-4 minutes and then turned the box on its side and out poured the fluid, seperated into 3 different layers, which I could see. Bottom layer was the glycerin, middle layer was biodiesel and on top was a layer of methanol.

Now, standing up to present a check for $500,000 was a young man, Mr. McKay, to buy the first of these machines. BioUSA boys came in their nice white shirts with LOGO and none of them had ever produced 1 gallon of biodiesel. Mr. McKay was telling everyone he got to use the machine and produce some BD 2 weeks before and even drove to St. George on the fuel he made.

My business partner asked to DEP to open the "black suitcase" and they refused. He also thinks its all a hoax to con some people out of their money. The mysterious fire(ruled likely foul play) and then the "black suitcase". Though impressive if true, 2 million to produce only 2.25 mil/gal is a high price. Greenline out of CA could probably get you 5-7 million gallons produced per year for same price and they use waterless technology.

I think this is above board. And a great little gizmo to boot. and they say they can produce one for us hombrewers
..I would think it to be cost prohibitive. I would consider paying 2 grand for this machine on a homeowner
level. but would want to know more about how they would support it.

Neither DEP nor Greenline, who supposedly can produce biodiesel with revolutionary waterless technology, have a commercial scale plant running. Don't let the press releases fool you!

DEP has yet to show us the fruits of their developing technology. Caution: Beware of wolves in sheep clothing!

Greenline actually does have a commercial scale plant running in Stuttgart, AR. It's a 5 MM per year plant. They also have 1 more 3 MM gallon coming on-line this month.

Nice story! Can I use this for my blog? gr, remcowoudstra

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