Enzymes could be the key to making biodiesel from low-quality oils. This article from The American Oil Chemists’ Society’s Inform magazine says Novozymes, a biotech company specializing in enzyme technology, is touting biodiesel production at Blue Sun Biodiesel in St. Joseph, Missouri and Vieselfuel LLC in Stuart, Fla., based on using lipase as catalyst.
Production at both sites has been in operation for over a year now. Novozymes has been the enzyme supplier and partner, and the accomplishment of full-scale production is the result of lengthy, dedicated research and development work.
The new lipase technology enables the processing of oil feedstocks with any concentration of free fatty acids and with lower energy costs than with a standard chemical catalyst…
Use of the liquid lipases was a breakthrough, as they are much cheaper to produce and provide technological as well as cost benefits. By using the lipase Novozymes Callera Trans®, it is possible to produce biodiesel from a large variety of oil qualities. The ability to produce biodiesel from feedstock regardless of its FFA content ultimately makes the process a more cost-efficient way to produce biodiesel.
The article goes on to say that Novozymes is finishing up the development of the enzymatic biodiesel application and expects to launch the concept later this year.
The same magazine features another article on using a new proprietary solid catalyst process developed by Benefuel to make biodiesel. We’ll have details on that story tomorrow.