Imagine a plant that has the capacity to convert animal fats and greases into high-quality renewable fuels on a commercial scale. Well, this idea has become a reality for the first time ever in the U.S. as operations at the new Dynamic Fuels plant, located in Geismar, Louisiana commence. The plant, which began production in early October, produces a total of 2,500 barrels per day, and that amount continues to increase.
Dynamic Fuels LLC was formed as a 50/50 joint venture between Syntroleum Corporation and Tyson Foods, Inc. The plant is different from ethanol and biodiesel industries in that rather than using food ingredients like corn and soybean oil to produce fuel, Dynamic Fuels utilizes non-food grade animal fats and greases.
"We're very pleased with the progress at the plant and the quality of the fuel it's producing," said Jeff Webster, group vice president of Tyson's Renewable Products Division. "This fuel offers the same benefits of synthetic fuels derived from coal or natural gas, including substantial performance and environmental advantages over petroleum-based fuels."
To date, the plant has produced renewable diesel with a cloud point as low as minus 26 degrees Fahrenheit and cetane as high as 88 degrees, which is over double the ASTM petroleum diesel specification. The renewable diesel fuel product meets any ASTMD975 specifications for diesel fuel.
Gary Roth, chief executive officer of Syntroleum, said, "Our U.S. plant is producing some of the highest quality diesel fuel in the world, and best of all, it is renewable with a carbon footprint 75 percent below that of petroleum diesel. We can also make renewable, high value specialty distillate products that can be used in a wide variety of applications such as dry cleaning, ink cartridges and drilling fluids, and we are actively pursuing these markets."
Fuels have been shipped from the plant since October. "There's been tremendous interest in our fuels and so far our customers include a range of fuel distributors and end users, including the U.S. military," said Bob Ames, vice president of Renewable Energy for Tyson Foods.
Both Tyson and Syntroleum are hoping for a restoration of the $1 per gallon renewable diesel tax credit from Congress, which had expired in December of 2009. Fuel from the Geismar plant would qualify for the credit, helping the economic feasibility of the operation and help recover development costs.
"More consistent and timely action by Congress on this and other biofuels tax credits is needed to provide stability and encourage the growth of the advanced biofuels industry, which is poised to help reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil," said Webster.
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Highest quality diesel fuel in the world from first U.S. biofuel plant
TAGS: Biofuel production, biofuels, Dynamic Fuels LLC, Inc, Syntroleum Corporation, Tyson Foods, U.S. biofuels
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