US DOE offers $241M conditional loan guarantee to renewable diesel plant based on UOP’s hydrotreating/isomerization process
20 January 2011
The US Department of Energy (DOE) is offering a conditional commitment to Diamond Green Diesel, LLC, the proposed joint venture between Valero Energy Corporation and Darling International Inc. (earlier post), for a $241-million loan guarantee to support the construction of a 137-million gallon per year renewable diesel facility in Norco, Louisiana, about 20 miles west of New Orleans.
The project will produce renewable diesel fuel primarily from animal fats, used cooking oil and other waste grease streams. The project will be the first application of its kind in the US to use UOP’s Ecofining hydrotreating/isomerization process (earlier post) and a pretreatment process from Desmet Ballestra Group, to converts processed feedstock into high-quality diesel. UOP is a Honeywell company.
Valero Energy Corporation plans to direct the design, construction and operation of the project and market all of its output, while Darling International Inc. will supply feedstock to the renewable diesel project.
Separately, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced three conditional loan guarantees worth $405 million for three biorefinery plants using gasification-based processes to produce renewable fuels. (Earlier post.)
As part of the Department of Energy’s comprehensive strategy to support the production of advanced biofuels, Energy Secretary Chu also announced the launch of a new online collaboration tool and data resource focused on bioenergy. The “Bioenergy Knowledge Discovery Framework” allows researchers, policymakers and investors to share large data sets, as well as the latest bioenergy research. The Framework also is intended to facilitate collaborative production, integration and analysis of information.
Registered users will be able to contribute data sets that can then be shared, expanding the body of knowledge, better informing this growing industry and eliminating information silos. The Framework allows simultaneous geographic mapping of complex data sets such as biomass feedstock production, fueling stations and biorefineries on a national, state, and even county-level basis—providing the bioenergy industry an analytical tool for identifying new opportunities for research, supportive policies and project investment.
This effort fools the general population into believing a false idea that biofuels can eliminate the use of fossil fuels even when it is easy for officials to see that there is not enough land and water in the US for this to happen. But I personally would kill the last Redwood tree alive to demonstrate the futility of destroying forests in undeveloped countries to feed the tanks of automobiles in the US and Europe and the UK.
There is no such thing as bio-energy or renewable fuels, but it may be better to pretend to convert waste materials into liquid fuels for a while longer. This material might wind up in cattle feed instead for a new mad cow disease variant. At one time the UK farmers would not buy clean pure Pruteen made from natural gas and fed newly available ground up sheep brains instead because of the low price and wiped out the industry.
Cellulostic materials can be treated to make cattle feed as well; instead of ethanol. Ethanol is a very good food; used by many for a large portion of their daily calories. Cattle can make milk out of ethanol and other supplements. ..HG..
Posted by: Henry Gibson | 20 January 2011 at 03:30 PM
Dear poor Henry,
Have you ever heard that fossil fuels come from fossils and take millions of years to create? Do you know that all of the industries you have mentioned have taken decades to develop and scale up to commercial competitiveness? Have you followed the advances in wind, solar and bioenergy and biofuels?
As the world population continues to grow and we are faced with the dueal challenges of providing sustainalble food and energy, ALL renewable energy technologies will be needed; even if the defense budget must be cut back a few percent.
Posted by: Severi | 25 January 2011 at 12:33 AM