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New Fuel:Bio 50 MMGY Biodiesel Plant Goes Online in Elizabeth, NJ
Grainnet ^ | May. 01 2007 | Myke Feinman

Posted on 05/09/2007 2:19:28 AM PDT by Rick_Michael

ELIZABETH, NJ – A 50-million-gallon-per-year biodiesel plant went online Feb. 10 with plans to eventually use algae as a feedstock.

Fuel:Bio is currently using soy and palm oil to produce ASTM D6751 B100 biodiesel.

“At present, Fuel:Bio is the largest commercial producer of biodiesel in the northeast, as determined by production volume,” according to John Borruso, government affairs liaison for Fuel:Bio.

Borruso said that Fuel:Bio Holdings, LLC, headquartered in Elizabeth, NJ, plans to eventually have 10 production facilities located along the east coast of the United States. The company is privately-owned by a consortium of individual investors, Borruso said. He added that the plant was designed by Fuel:Bio. The $15 million, fully-automated plant, situated on a two-acre site on the New York Harbor waterway, offers distribution by truck, rail, or barge, he added. It employs 12 full-time people.

Borruso said the company is exploring using algae as a feedstock to preserve farmland for food crops.

“Some people have expressed concern over the amount of land required to grow crops needed to produce biodiesel,” Borruso said. “As a result, researchers are looking for more productive, and sustainable sources of biofuel—including algae. The Elizabeth facility will be the first and only production facility to develop algae tubes to grow future feedstock supply.”

For more information, call (908) 344-6874.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Miscellaneous; US: New Jersey
KEYWORDS: alternatives; biodisel; biofuel; biomass; energy
Many people on this forum SEEM not to be too informed about algae, and have perception that biodiesels aren't worth our time. Granted algae is not cost competitive (now), it's absolutely something to watch, and I hope the industry finds a relative means to produce it more effectively.

It's been said to be one of the only biomasses that can replace petro use in the states....if barriers are broken. Here's some general info to review on this.


The Status Quo

1) ALGAE FARMING IS AN INDUSTRY Commercial algae farming is an established industry. It has been going on for over 50 years, and has become a small industry. There are only a handful of companies doing it on a large scale. Total world-wide production is a few thousand tons of algal biomass per year. So far, algae has been grown mostly for its protein, which is worth more in the marketplace than either its oil or starch content.

2) YIELD HAS INCREASED Yield has already reached a point where algae farming for oil begins to make sense. Currently, the highest daily yield of algal biomass reported has been 50 grams per square meter. The average daily yield is closer to 17 grams per square meter. (17 grams per square meter per day, with extraction of 25% of its weight as oil translates to about 1,200 gallons of oil per acre per year. This is about double the yield of palm kernel. Increases in yield will lower the amount of investment required in physical plant, and (to a lesser degree) labor costs.

3) PRODUCTION COSTS ARE DECLINING Cost estimates are getting lower. Commercial production costs are around $5,000 per ton, or $55 per kilo. In a recent study, production cost estimates range from 4-300 dollars per kilo. In a more recent study, the range is .75 cents to $17.25 per kilo. So, it is apparent that progress is being made.

4) PRODUCTION COSTS ARE TOO HIGH Production costs are currently too high to make commercial production of algae for oil. If we are trying to replace petroleum oil, our maximum allowable total production cost can be found by dividing the current cost of crude oil (currently about $60) by the number of gallons in a barrel (42). Currently, this cost limit is $1.42 per gallon of oil. This is not the cost of the algae. If we can extract 25% of the algae's weight as oil, we will need to grow 14 1/2 kilos of algae for each gallon of oil that we produce; a maximum cost per kilo of algae of slightly less than ten cents.

5) THE CHALLENGE THAT FACES US What we need to do as an industry is to increase the yield of oil per acre, while effecting major cost reductions in the production process. I believe we will accomplish this, through hard work, persistence, ingenuity, good luck, and collaboration.


Quantifying the By-product Income Streams

Once we start farming algae, we will start producing quite a bit of by-product. If we were to just take it to the landfill, this would cost between $50 and $80 per ton.

Fortunately, we have other options:

1) Our first choice is to sell the protein. And there is a market for it. Livestock feedlots can use it instead of (or in addition to) soymeal. Recent soymeal prices have ranged between $160 and $220 per metric ton. This works out to between 16 and 22 cents per kilo. There are only three problems:

1) Feedlots probably won't want to pay the same price for an unproven product that they are willing to pay for an established product. I believe this will be resolved over time as the marketplace finds an equilibrium. We will probably start at a low price. Sooner or later, the product will gain acceptance and will start making inroads into the soymeal market. Soymeal prices and/or production will drop. Algae Cake price will rise until the marketplace determines its value.

2) At least in the US, I think the product will need to be dry. Although the procedure will add somewhat to the cost of production, it should be quite simple. After we disrupt the algae's cell walls, we can run the resulting slurry through a modified oil screw expeller press. This will separate the liquids from the algae cake (which should come out as flakes.)

3) Cattlemen are very much concerned about water contamination with toxic blue-green algae. So we will have an objection to the use of algae as cattle feed which must be dealt with if we are to make the sale. Our real problem is that there is a real possibility that (if we produce these algae in uncovered, outdoor raceways) the product _could_ be contaminated by toxic algae. Never mind that, for the moment. We are not entirely without scientific studies on this, but let's come back to this option later.

2) If we are converting the oil we have harvested into biodiesel, about 20% of it will be glycerine. The feedlots will again be our customer. This time, our product will compete against molasses, whose price has fluctuated from $52.50 to $112.50 per ton which works out to between 31 and 66 cents per gallon (there are 171 gallons in a ton of molasses.) The animals love it because it is sweet, and its use as animal feed has been studied. Although we will need to remove any residual methanol, this is no hardship, as this would be necessary, anyway, to provide economical operation. Also, if some residue of methanol remains, it is not a problem, as cattle are not as sensitive to it as humans are.

3) We could convert the algae cake to ethanol. Ethanol is produced by the fermentation of sugars by the action of yeasts. If your feedstock contains cellulose or non-sugar carbohydrates, you must add a step to the process where they are converted to sugars. Acid hydrolysis is used to convert cellulose and hemicellulose to sugars. There are dilute, concentrated, and counter-current processes for doing this. Work is also being done on enzymatic methods. There is also a gasification procedure that can be used.

Theoretical production of 140 gallons of ethanol per ton of algae cake is possible. Cellulose ethanol using enzymes and fermentation is currently producing about 70 gallons per ton and gasification up to 100 gallons per ton, under ideal conditions.

This operation produces lots of CO2, which we could feed to the algae as it is produced. It also brings with it a bureaucratic income stream of 54 cents per gallon

4) If there is any by-product left after this, we could burn it and use the energy for process heat. I would use a fluidized bed under a water heater, and would circulate the water through a big underground tank. Unfortunately, this is labor intensive, and would probably cost more than it would benefit, but less than dump fees would be.

5) Once we have distilled the alcohol, the residue can be dried, producing Dried Distillers Grains from algae. Now we can effectively address the toxicity objection. The product has been treated with sulfuric acid, removing any toxicity.

1 posted on 05/09/2007 2:19:33 AM PDT by Rick_Michael
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To: Rick_Michael
Many people on this forum SEEM not to be too informed about algae

Swamp Thing and all ...
2 posted on 05/09/2007 2:24:45 AM PDT by kinoxi
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To: kinoxi

lol...yeah. I just think the liberals are a bit too loose minded with their method. They want to force it. Economics dictates things, and I’m not worried about their concerns. The world’s not going to melt away.

Although the time is reaching a point where we’ll put ourselves in danger by funding our enemies to a point where we shouldn’t. If any of these nuts gets a nuke, well...our heat level will rise, and it won’t be 85 degrees.

It’s in our interest to move alternatives, and to give that room to the markets for it.

3 posted on 05/09/2007 2:35:29 AM PDT by Rick_Michael (Fred Thompson)
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To: Rick_Michael

It is in our interest.

4 posted on 05/09/2007 2:37:21 AM PDT by kinoxi
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To: kinoxi
As far as the cost.... I’d rather pay $60/barrel to American entities if that is what it takes to start STARVING 99% of our enemies of precious revenue streams with which they foment trouble.
5 posted on 05/09/2007 3:24:28 AM PDT by AmericaUnited
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To: Rick_Michael

Animal feed (corn) and Don Quixote Windmills aren’t going to do it, but oil shales, cold (”frozen”) methane hydrate and algae, along with more nuclear energy could significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil and gas, and even reduce free (non-captured) CO2 as a byproduct of energy generation.

6 posted on 05/09/2007 3:25:30 AM PDT by CutePuppy (If you don't ask the right questions you may not get the right answers)
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To: Rick_Michael
This is all well and good, science has shown that, besides oil, the earth has an abundance of energy alternatives.

I for one do believe we should invest in exploiting these alternatives but the reality if things is economics.

People will buy whatever is cheapest and if oil is forced to compete with alternatives, it is a big enough industry to absorb a cost decrease, gasoline prices will get cheap again. Those of us who tend to watch our finances, (which is most of us), will buy gasoline.

This will result in investors fleeing the alternative energy market like rats fleeing a sinking ship and thus oil will monopolize the energy markets once again. The cycle will continueonce again.

7 posted on 05/09/2007 3:30:38 AM PDT by HEY4QDEMS (Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.)
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To: Rick_Michael

Elizabeth NJ is the perfict spot to produce algae.The garden spot of America. It also used to be the blader cancer center of the USA.

8 posted on 05/09/2007 3:50:01 AM PDT by G-Man 1
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thus oil will monopolize the energy markets once again.

I think this time things will be different. 9/11 showed us that all that cheap oil was very expensive, the views towards using fossil fuels continues to dim, and the oil companies are involved in producing the alternative fuels.
9 posted on 05/09/2007 5:38:03 AM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: Rick_Michael

I sure hope these products are 0% transfat. LOL!

10 posted on 05/09/2007 5:45:06 AM PDT by wolfcreek (DON'T MESS WITH A NATION IN NEED OF MEDICATION !)
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To: wolfcreek

Yes, but was a Creature from the Black Lagoon harmed in any way by boiling all this algae ?

11 posted on 05/09/2007 6:25:58 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: Red Badger

Ping! (Or is it a knock?)

12 posted on 05/09/2007 7:39:27 AM PDT by Yo-Yo (USAF, TAC, 12th AF, 366 TFW, 366 MG, 366 CRS, Mtn Home AFB, 1978-81)
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To: sully777; Fierce Allegiance; vigl; Cagey; Abathar; A. Patriot; B Knotts; getsoutalive; ...

Rest In Peace, old friend, your work is finished.......

If you want on or off the DIESEL "KnOcK" LIST just FReepmail me........

This is a fairly HIGH VOLUME ping list on some days...... HAT TIP to YO-YO.......

13 posted on 05/09/2007 7:46:50 AM PDT by Red Badger (My gerund got caught in my diphthong, and now I have a dangling participle...............)
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To: Rick_Michael
4-300 dollars per kilo
$17.25 per kilo

And since I fill my car with diesel by the kilo I know exactly what these numbers mean...


14 posted on 05/10/2007 6:06:11 PM PDT by 69ConvertibleFirebird (Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.)
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To: 69ConvertibleFirebird

Those numbers are from people in the industry.

It’s .75 cents to 17.75 in recent studies. It has to be around .10 cents to drive-in profit. Not there, but within time—I think so.

15 posted on 05/10/2007 7:22:51 PM PDT by Rick_Michael (Fred Thompson)
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