Monday, April 28, 2008

12 Largest Biofuel Plants in World (For Now)

It is difficult to pin down the largest biofuel plants at this time, since so many are in the planning and early construction phases, and some of the production claims for this list may not be quite true. Even so, this is a good starting point. The main point I would like to make is that while 1st generation plants are based upon food crops as feedstock, the 2nd and 3rd generation plants are following close on their heels--and the 2nd and 3rd generation plants will be based upon non-food feedstocks such as cellulosic biomass, algal oil, and non-edible seed oils.
1. Dynoil LLC is developing a new biodiesel refinery near Houston, Texas, USA - and it might be the world’s largest. Though the development timeline is not clear, once completed the refinery will process roughly 100,000 barrels of vegetable oil each day. It is estimated it will produce 1.5 billion gallons of biodiesel fuel each year.

2. SE Energy’s proposed plant in Chesapeake, Virginia, USA. Projected production capacity: 320 million gallons per year.

3. Dominion Energy Services, LLC has broken ground for a $400-million integrated biodiesel and ethanol refinery in Innisfail, Alberta, Canada, it will consist of a combined 300 million gallon per year production facility (100 million gallon ethanol, a 100 million gallon canola crush facility and a 100 million gallon biodiesel) on commencement in the third quarter of 2008, and will use about 1 million tonnes of wheat and 900,000 tonnes of canola a year for raw residue.

4. Brasil Eco Energia, associated with David DeWind, alongside other Brazilian and US investors, plans to build the largest biodiesel plant in the world, in Brazil, using soybeans as raw residue to create 220.5 million gallons of biodiesel a year.

5. Energen Development Limited (EDL), a Jamaican firm, plans to put up a 120 million gallon per year ethanol plant in Kingston, Jamaica by end 2008.

6. Agri-Source Fuels plant in Dade City, Florida, USA. Current production: 40 million gallons of B100 biodiesel per year, and has a production capacity of 120 million gallons per year. Agri-Source Fuels will open another 18 million/gallons per year plant in Pensacola, Florida, by end of 2008.

7. Imperium Renewables plant in Grays Harbor, Washington, USA. Production capacity: 100 million gallons per year, opened on August 15, 2007, with raw product mostly oil derived from canola grown in USA and Canada.

8. Louis Dreyfus plant near Claypool, Indiana, USA. Production capacity: 250,000 gallons of biodiesel per day, which adds up to more than 80 million gallons per year.

9. Canadian Green Fuels Inc. last week announced plans to put up a new plant and upgrade its existing plant in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Proposed production capacity: 63.4 million gallons of biofuel products a year, and will run on energy it creates and is expected to produce biodiesel, biofuels, bio-oil, and bio-additives.

10. Oilsource Holding, LLC and Greenline Industries, LLC, in a joint venture, will in the first quarter of 2009, commission a 60 million gallon per year biodiesel plant in Miami, Florida, USA with production commencing in early 2010.

11. North Prairie Productions broke ground last spring on a site in Evansville, Wisconsin, USA for a biodiesel plant that will produce 45 million gallons of fuel per year on completion later in 2008.

12. Cargill plant in Iowa Falls, Iowa, USA. Current production: 37.5 million gallons a year. Built in 2006. If there is less soybeans on Iowa supermarket shelves, most of it is going to the plant courtesy of Iowa Soybean Association. __Source
While biofuels makers will move away from food crops as feedstocks--for economic reasons if for no others--for the time being the higher costs going to farmers for maize, soybeans, canola oil, and other crops will certainly help the local economies of the farm regions involved.

If farmers are smart enough to find ways to stay in the biofuels market even after it moves into more cellulosic crops and non-food oils, the current transient benefit to North American farmers could become a more permanent benefit.

Reports from Australia including this and this, suggest that Australian bioresearchers and farmers plan to get in on the bio-refinery and bio-energy world market in a significant way.

Bio-energy is one more form of solar energy, along with solar, wind, and wave energy. The biorefinery concept will simply extend the theme to include other petro-substitute chemical besides merely fuel.

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