Benefuel Unveils New Fats-to-Biodiesel Plant Plans

John Davis

BenefuelChicago-based biodiesel refinery builder Benefuel, Inc. will build the world’s first industrial-scale biodiesel refinery that uses a novel solid catalyst to convert low-grade fats and vegetable oils into biodiesel. The 10-million-gallon plant is to be built in Seymour, Indiana in conjunction with Seymour Biofuels.

This company press release says the plant will eliminate the need for water in the refining process and produces a market-ready glycerin by-product:

The catalyst, developed in collaboration with leading chemical engineers from India’s prestigious National Chemical Laboratory, can turn virtually any vegetable oil or high free fatty acid (FFA) animal fat directly into biodiesel without the need for costly pre-processing.

Thanks to the unique nature of the Benefuel catalyst, the operators of the new Seymour plant will realize significant production savings through the purchase of the lowest-cost feedstock. As an added economic benefit, the glycerin by-product of the Seymour refinery will have an initial purity of more than 98%, making it market-ready for use in other applications.

Production is expected to start later in 2008.