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!)
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