Illinois Biodiesel Plant Hits Million Gallon Mark

John Davis

A biodiesel plant in Seneca, Illinois has hit the one-million-gallon mark in just the first 25 days of operation.

novalogo.jpgIn a press release, Nova Biosource Fuels says this is just the start of the projected 60 million gallons annual production from the refinery of animal fats and vegetable oils into the green fuel:

“We are pleased with the progress at the Seneca, Illinois refinery,” said Kenneth T. Hern, Chairman and CEO of Nova. “Plant commissioning is proceeding as planned. Train One has operated at nameplate capacity and has exceeded all our performance objectives for yield, throughput and quality. The refinery has successfully demonstrated conversion of feedstocks with free fatty acid levels above 6%. To date, we’ve produced more than 1.25 million gallons, and we expect to begin working on Train Two by the end of the month and Train Three will follow shortly thereafter.”

The Seneca refinery layout incorporates three process trains, each rated at 20 million gallons per year. “Our startup and commissioning plan has been developed using our experience gained during the startup of the two similar 20 million gallons per year refineries we built for third parties in Wisconsin and Mississippi,” said Mr. Hern. “Our plan is to commission the Seneca refinery one train at a time, spaced at 45 to 60 day intervals to smoothly integrate equipment shakedown, staff training, logistical support, markets and overall refinery operations to ramp up production at a methodical and structured pace. We could not be more pleased with the progress on the first train and are looking forward with great anticipation to the startup of the remaining trains.”

Nova has plans to open a total of seven biodiesel plants in the next three years with expected capacity of nearly 200 million gallons of biodiesel a year.