Breakthrough Expedites Transformation of Biodiesel Production
Piedmont Biofuels announced today that the company has commenced the first commercial scale zero-waste production of biodiesel in the United States using its proprietary approach of enzyme catalysis. Biodiesel is a diesel fuel alternative made from fats and oils, which can be used in diesel engines without modification.
Piedmont has successfully scaled-up an enzyme-based technique to biodiesel production. The traditional biodiesel production method uses chemical catalysts like potassium hydroxide and sulfuric acid. These chemicals form soaps or salts which contaminate both the biodiesel and glycerin phases, producing low-grade co-products. “With the enzyme process, we eliminate the caustic chemicals which allows biodiesel producers to decrease waste and increase yield, with all types of feedstocks,” says Lyle Estill, President of Piedmont Biofuels.
Piedmont Biofuels has been investigating enzyme catalysis for the biodiesel industry for over four years in efforts to find a successful zero-waste output. In 2009, Piedmont began collaborating with global enzyme producer, Novozymes. Their most recent research and development efforts have been supported by an U.S. Department of Energy, Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) grant in addition to the technology commercialization support. from the Clean Energy Alliance (“CEA”) under the Department of Energy Small Business and Clean Energy Alliance Partnership.
This is the first commercial production of its kind in the United States using enzyme catalysts for biodiesel. “ We are very excited to share our success this year at the National Biodiesel Conference,” states Rachel Burton, Research Director of Piedmont Biofuels, who will be delivering details about the production process at the conference in Orlando, Florida from February 5- 8th. “This milestone brings Piedmont Biofuels one step closer to a zero-waste, sustainable biodiesel process.”
About Piedmont Biofuels
Piedmont Biofuels operates North Carolina’s premier commercial biodiesel production plant since 2006. They are leaders in sustainable biodiesel production, research, and technology development, headquartered in North Carolina. Piedmont is committed to its mission to lead the sustainability effort through the development and production of clean, renewable fuels.
Contact: Rachel Burton, Rachel@biofuels.coop
220 Lorax Lane #1
Pittsboro, NC (919)321-8260