Sunho Biodiesel Corporation (SBC) is providing a special offer of free lipase biocatalyst to clients who would license and set up a biodiesel plant based on the ET Process®. This offer is open for biodiesel plants that will have a capacity of at least 5,000 T/yr based on degummed oil. The biocatalyst will be supplied for the first 18 months or in 3 batches, depending on which one concludes earlier.
Currently, commercial biodiesel production relies solely on the chemical approach. Due to shortcomings in the enzyme lifespan and process efficiency of earlier technologies, the approach was thought to be expensive and unsuitable for commodity manufacturing. Transitioning to the enzymatic approach is also difficult for some biodiesel producers because they believe that extending the useful life of their existing chemical-based facilities will be more cost-efficient. Those who do try out the enzymatic approach prefer to combine it with existing chemical systems, but in some cases this does not yield better results and only add to production expenses.
When considering a process for industrial production of a commodity, two major criteria are process reliability and cost of consumables. This is where the ET Process® offers distinctive advantages. The design of the ET Process® allows the system to optimize its efficiency. It runs in an automatic, continuous manner. There is no need for the producer to conduct numerous trial-and-error adjustments since it is a well-designed process. The use of inert solvent prevents lipase poisoning and deactivation from glycerol, methanol and water and stabilizes lipase activity. Due to the improvement in life span, the catalyst does not have to be replaced frequently, leading to significant catalyst cost savings. From recent market data, it was found that the lipase consumption of enzymatic processes that use either immobilized or liquid lipase without inert solvent is one order of magnitude higher than that of the ET Process®. Based on a plant with a capacity of 10,000 T/yr biodiesel, the former processes will consume more than 12-20 T/yr of biocatalyst, while the ET Process® will consume only 1 T/y or less. This means that in a two-year span, the cost difference in lipase expense between retrofitting an existing plant using the aforementioned processes and using the ET Process® is much higher than the capital investment needed to set up a new ET Process® plant.
The ET Process® is fully developed for industrial application and offers many advantages over the chemical approach. It saves on capital and operational costs by using only one processing system to simultaneously convert oil and free fatty acid (FFA), the latter of which is abundant in cheaper feedstock. In contrast, a conventional chemical process would require two processing systems, acid and alkaline, in order for it to perform the same tasks. The energy expenditure is lower in the ET Process® and it is safer to operate. The FFA level of the biodiesel product can meet standard specifications with little to no downstream processing. The process produces two pure products: pure biodiesel and pure glycerol. SBC believes that the biodiesel industry continues to evolve and as it does, it will become more and more eco-friendly. The company truly hopes that contributions made by its technology can change the biodiesel industry and make green biofuel more accessible to everyone.
For more information on SBC’s special lipase offer and the ET Process®, please visit the company website.