Green Star Products, Inc. (OTC:GSPI - News) announced that they have developed and successfully commercially tested their 10 million gallon per year advanced biodiesel reactor. GSPI reactors require only two minutes to complete the biodiesel conversion reaction compared to over one hour that is typical for a conventional biodiesel plant.
GSPI Biodiesel Plants have the following competitive advantages:
- All plant design is modularized so additional capacity can be added at minimal cost.
- Speed of construction - plant can be placed in service in 14-16 weeks versus industry standard average of 14 to 18 months.
- Small footprint of plant because of its modularized "continuous flow waterless design" versus industry batch plant design, which also results in lower production and maintenance costs.
- Minimum plant management and operations staff required because plant is automated.
- Proven technology - Industrial size plant operated and produced biodiesel for over three years in Bakersfield, California.
- Minimal permits required from regulatory agencies. Plant requires no wastewater permit, which could take up to one year to obtain and minimum air quality permits.
- The plant design is very energy efficient and reduces energy requirements by over 30% of industry average.
- Lower capital costs by at least 40% compared to biodiesel industry standards. (between $.80 cents per gallon to a high of $1.25 per installed gallon for conventional biodiesel plants)
- Plants require 30 to 40% less energy (increased efficiency) to run motors and pumps.
- Faster achievement of positive cash flow is due to a much shorter time frame to complete construction and permitting.
Since GSPI's Continuous Flow Biodiesel Production (CFBP) system is completely enclosed and waterless, it greatly reduces the time to secure construction permits, which can take a year or longer to obtain. Mr. LaStella, President of GSPI, points out that California is probably the toughest state to obtain air and water discharge permits. Recently, the GSPI CFBP system received the permits to construct a biodiesel plant in California in only eight weeks. Since many cities and towns across the U.S. do not have the expertise to evaluate new biodiesel plants being built in their jurisdiction, they have welcomed the California permit package to save them the need to research this emerging biodiesel technology and save GSPI the time to receive these valuable permits.
The basic production cost to build the reactors has been reduced to only $30,000 per 10-million GPY reactor module. Smaller units will cost even less. This will significantly reduce the costs and time to build biodiesel plants. The prefabricated reactors make it possible to construct plants within 14-18 weeks versus the 14-18 months that is typical for conventional plants. The balance of the infrastructure--which includes land, building, electrical, storage facilities, railroad access and final cleanup of biodiesel--will still be required.
American Biofuels, L.L.C. (ABF), which is 35% owned by Green Star Products, Inc. and is the operator of the biodiesel plants, expects to increase biodiesel production to 40,000,000 gallons per year in 2006. ABF's Bakersville, Ca site is where the original 5-million GPY biodiesel plant was located. The original plant was first started up in late 2003. Three different sizes of the current reactor design were tested from January 2005 through February 2006 at the Bakersfield biodiesel plant facility. The largest reactor was rated at 10-million GPY and was operated from August 2005 through February 2006.
The Bakersfield facility was expanded to 10-million GPY in March 2006. ABF is planning to increase the capacity to 20-million GPY, estimated for completion by late 2006. ABF is also planning a new 20,000,000-GPY East Coast facility to supply New York state and surrounding states which is scheduled to be in production by late 2006.
Green Star Products, Inc. plans to construct total bio-refinery complexes for production of both biodiesel and biomass ethanol at each facility.The first bio-refinery is planned to be in North Carolina and the location of the second facility is to be announced soon in the northwestern sector of the United States. The bio-refinery complex would fully integrate both a biodiesel processing plant and biomass ethanol processing plant to optimize engineering strategy and cost reduction through planned synergic processing.
Each bio-refinery will have a start-up production of between 10 to 20 million gallons per year with quick expansion capabilities. The facility infrastructure will be capable of expanding to 60 million gallons per year (and further expansion capabilities could reach 100-million gallons per year).
The combined bio-refinery has the following advantages:
1) Ethanol plants operate at high temperatures above 1,200 F, while biodiesel plants require low temperatures below 240 F. Therefore, the waste heat from the ethanol plant is enough to run the biodiesel plant at almost no additional heat processing cost.
2) The biodiesel and ethanol plants can utilize the same laboratories, QC facilities, maintenance equipment and personnel. They can also share dispatch operations and management personnel.
3) One of the greatest advantages for the bio-refinery is the fact that domestically produced vegetable oil (soy oil, canola oil, etc.) will be used to make biodiesel and the waste products from the plants (stalks, etc.) can produce low cost ethanol.
4) Since the biodiesel production process requires approximately 10% methanol and since much of the methanol in the U.S. is presently supplied from outside of the U.S. borders, there could be a time when supplies could be cut short. The bio-refinery would simply use part of its ethanol, which works just as well as methanol. This would insure that the bio-refinery is always in operation backed by the output of the U.S. farmer.
The North Carolina biodiesel facility will be funded and owned by Renewable Resources International (RRI), which is owned by a group of environmentally conscious investors that collectively own approximately 3% of GSPI stock. The RRI facility is located close to existing biodiesel feedstock plants (soy oil crushing facilities) and adjacent to primary diesel fuel distribution terminals.
Initial Phase I of construction will provide for infrastructure expansion up to 60 million gallons capacity per year. Expansion will proceed from 10 million gallon capacity to the maximum infrastructure capacity by adding 5 million gallon per year capacity reaction modules in stages.
Phase II of the RRI program incorporates much larger production on a worldwide basis.
Green Star does not reveal any details about its reactor, so how it is constructed and how it works is not known. The reaction time in reactors can be increased by mixing either from the flow regime, through the use of mechanical agitation or from doing the reaction in several smaller well mixed stages. A good process description and flow schematic for a conventional biodiesel plant is found in the Van Gerpen reference. Based on this reference the reaction with the catalyst (usually sodium hdroxide) and alcohol normally takes 1 hour in a stirred reactor.
A patent application,#20050188607, by LaStella indicates that it has been proposed to use a methanol removing substance in place of the water rinse to remove methanol from the biodiesel, e.g., a silicone based gel adsorbent. This patent also claims that operating the plant at 145 F, above the normal 110 F, reduces the required retention time substantially.