A New Jersey company has sold its first industrial-scale oil extractor that will help get biodiesel from waste streams.
This article from Biodiesel Magazine says Renewable BioSystems LLC’s (RBL) system will initially be able to turn 500,000 gallons of yellow grease into oil for biodiesel feedstock each year and could be scaled-up to more than 5 million tons of oil annually:
The oil extraction technology supplied by RBL was originally developed in England. “Our company [formed] at the end of 2008,” said RBL CEO Peter Behrle. “My partner and I came from the biodiesel business, where we were continually frustrated by the high cost of feedstocks…We had gone in search of technologies that might provide less expensive feedstocks. We bumped into this technology in England and we licensed it for exclusive sale and manufacture in North America.”
The process is specifically designed to extract oils from organic waste streams, such as food factory waste, livestock offal, fish residuals and various sludges. While Behrle noted that some of these materials are already being deoiled through rendering processes, he said RBL’s process is able to extract oils more efficiently, more completely, and less expensively. The process essentially reduces the size of incoming organic waste streams and heats the material through a proprietary process. The material is then put through a proprietary centrifuge process, which separates it into three streams: oils, solids and water.
According to Behrle, the quality of oil that comes out of the process depends on the organic material that is introduced into the machine. “We don’t change the quality of the oil,” he said. “We just extract the oil.” For example, an RBL machine that takes in fresh offal would produce a high-quality oil with extremely low free fatty acid (FFA) content. However, if the machine is processing an organic waste material that has been allowed to degrade over a long period of time, the resulting oil will be higher in FFAs. “We’ll always have very low water and very low impurities,” Behrle continued. “The oil will be good in that respect, but the FFAs will all depend on how quickly the material can be processed.”
The machine is scheduled to be installed during the first quarter of this year.