World's First Carbon-Neutral Biodiesel Plant Coming to Idaho


Green Star Products, Inc. (GSPI) will build the first biodiesel plant to emit almost zero net greenhouse gases from direct plant production of biodiesel. We've been following the rise of biodiesel as an alternative to fossil fuels and gasoline (from the geography of the fuel to the celebs who use it to its addition to the dictionary), so we know that most production plants require heating input, usually from natural gas, require electricity from local utilities, which emit CO(2), and that the chemical processes uses 10% methanol (wood alcohol) made from natural gas, all of which contribute to our warming planet. GSPI has considered all of these factors in the design of their new plant; Joseph P. LaStella, P.E., President of GSPI, explains:"First, our proprietary continuous flow waterless process requires less than one-third the electrical energy to operate versus existing batch plants. Therefore, we have decided to furnish our own electric generators, which will run on our own biodiesel. The existing electrical utility connections will only serve as an emergency backup service.

Second, biodiesel plants require heat for processing. Our boilers will run on biodiesel and will only serve as a backup heat source for the plant. Our biodiesel facility is located within 200 yards of a co-generation power plant. We are in negotiations to utilize some of the waste heat from that plant. Steam power plants must condense their steam through condensers before it can be reheated and returned to power the steam turbine. GSPI can extract all the heat it needs right before the power plant condensers. Therefore, not only does this utilize waste heat, it also increases the efficiency of the power plant.

Third, the entire biodiesel industry uses methanol in their process to chemically convert feedstock soy oil, canola oil, etc. to biodiesel fuel (which is a methyl ester). Almost all of the methanol used in the U.S. comes from South American countries and of course is not renewable because it is produced from natural gas. Methanol is used by the industry because it is less expensive and has some advantages over using ethanol, which can also be used to make biodiesel, except it is much more expensive. GSPI will use ethanol to process biodiesel and transform the Idaho facility into a 100% renewable one in which 100% of the products are made in the U.S."

The new facility, located in Glenns Ferry, Idaho, will have a startup biodiesel production capacity of 10 million gallons per year. However, most of the equipment is designed for a quick expansion as state demand increases. The facility's infrastructure can support 60 million gallons per year capacity, not including the supporting ethanol production. ::Green Star Products, Inc. via ::CSRwire