Kentucky Biodiesel Plant Set to Open This Month

John Davis

BluegrassBiodieselA 14-million-gallon-a-year biodiesel plant in Kentucky is on schedule for opening later this month.

Biodiesel Magazine reports that the multi-feedstock Bluegrass BioDiesel plant at Falmouth, Ky. is about halfway through testing all of its systems and should be up and running by the end of August:

General Manager Rich Wojtkowski described a number of features used in the plant to reduce the capital investment such as using stainless steel only where required, substituting lower cost carbon steel. Flexible hoses will give the ability to reroute product streams. Gravity separation will be used, eliminating the cost of centrifuges. While using standard acid pretreatment and base transesterification, the plant is capable of handling 2 to 22 percent free fatty acids with three stages where water can be removed. “Our objective is to produce a very pure product that we can market as B100 ultra, removing all impurities,” Wojtkowski said. The plant also includes a methanol recovery and glycerin purification. “We will push for BQ9000 certification,” he added. “I have experience with ISO certification, so I know the policies and quality control that has to be in place.”

Bluegrass Biodiesel plans to offer B90 or B99 blends as well as B100 to its regional customers. “Some want a blended product, which they can blend further,” Wojtkowski said. “We handle the government issues, the filings, etcetera.”

The plant has been a work in progress for the last five years with starts and stops along the way, including running out of construction funds about a year ago. But local officials say they are pleased the company has persisted, and the plant is now on the verge of opening.