Oil washing with glycerin; process improvements and an expedition by bio truck.

It has been an amazing two months at Promethean!

We are in the process of increasing our storage capacity for finished and interim products by about 20,000 gallons.

The irony is our oil supplies have been pretty low overall, with theft a major issue for us at the moment. The rain, although a blessing in general for California, is anathema to our oil quality, as water is not conducive for maintaining low FFA (free fatty acid) concentrations.

To address these issues I have begun revisiting some process approach alternatives including alkali refining, modified acid esterification, glycerin washing, and a low temperature “glycerolysis” approach. I have also successfully developed a new approach to to soap and sterols removal in the wake of converting high FFA feed stocks.  I hope to have results worth publishing in July or August of 2011; the work is very promising and I hope to have some data that can be put into modeling an automated process approach. Or not. We shall see.

Andy Pag (http://www.biotruckexpedition.com/) will be arriving at the plant tomorrow morning, March 29th, 2011.  He has been making his way around the world in a recycled Mercedes school bus running primarily on biodiesel. He has been visiting biodiesel plants in Southern California of late, including New Leaf Biofuels of San Diego.

We get lots of requests to sponsor various road trips or to donate fuel, so many that of late I have become increasingly selective of the types of folks and escapades  we support.  I sometimes wish I was the one travelling across the world in a biodiesel-powered fun bus. Oh well…maybe one day it will be my turn.

Make it a better place,