PO Box 1146
Salida, CO USA  81201
(719) 539-0300
Fax: (719) 539-0301


BBI International... Your Biofuels Resource


Event Calendar

World Biofuels Symposium
November 13-15, 2005
Beijing, China

2nd Annual Canadian Renewable Fuels Summit
December 13-15, 2005
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Hosted by:
Candadian Renewable Fuels Association

National Biodiesel Conference & Expo 2006
February 5-8, 200
San Diego, California
National Biodiesel Board

11th Annual National Ethanol Conference: "Policy & Marketing"
February 20-22, 200
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Sponsored by:
Renewable Fuels Association

22nd Annual International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo
June 20-23, 200
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Join our
Email Subscription List

Select your topics of interest for regular and timely updates - control your subscriptions and unsubscribe anytime

Complete Listing of Upcoming Events

Event History

Free Booklet Download:
Fuel Ethanol: A Technological Evolution



Posted on  

December 3, 2003

Scientist hopes to create cheaper biodiesel fuel

MOSCOW — A University of Idaho scientist is researching how to get more economic benefit from the byproducts generated from the process that makes biodiesel fuel.

The technology to turn vegetable oils into clean-burning fuel has been around for years. The problem is that it costs $1.50 a gallon just for the raw materials to produce one gallon of it, said Brian He, a biodiesel researcher at the university.

“On top of that, you have the operating costs and the labor costs. Eventually, we are talking about $2.50 to $3 per gallon,” he said.

Add transportation costs and taxes to the mix, and it becomes an unmarketable product.

He (pronounced “huh”) believes the waste and byproducts can be transformed into valuable commodities that can be sold to offset production costs.

Biodiesel is made by combining vegetable oil, usually from crushed rapeseed or mustard seed, at high speed with methanol or ethanol. The result is a fluid with two layers — biodiesel on top and impure glycerol on the bottom.

The glycerol has little economic value since it is too costly to purify by conventional means.

But He is testing a bacterial fermentation process that could cheaply convert it into propanediol, one of the valuable raw materials used to make common polyester.

He also is exploring ways of increasing the value of the seed meal left over from the crushing process.

By using solvents to extract toxic chemicals like cyanide from the meal, He can transform it from its current use as fertilizer into much more valuable animal feed.

“(The meal) contains about the same amount of proteins as soy meal, about 40 percent. They are also quite balanced proteins. To use it as fertilizer is kind of a waste.”

Another high-value product contained in the seed oil is a fatty acid called erucic acid.

He wants to isolate the erucic acid and sell it separately. It is used in more than 200 different products, he says, including plastics, pharmaceuticals, lubricants and ink.

While all these methods have been accomplished elsewhere, he says, they have never been integrated into a biodiesel production line.

One of his next projects will be the construction of a model production line to squeeze every last cent from the tiny seeds.



Other News

Click here to see previously posted News items in our Archive

BBI Store

BBI International
Project Development

Multi Client Study:

More information and contents

BBI Online Store


Biodiesel Industry Directory Online:
View it FREE!


Home | Company Info | International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Trade Show | Biofuels Recruiting | BBI Media

Biofuels Project Development - Biofuels Conference & Event Planning - BBI Media - Biofuels Recruiting

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner.
Remainder of content Copyright © 2005 BBI International.