Green Star to Build 90 Biodiesel Reactors for De Beers

by | Nov 13, 2006

Green Star Products has signed an agreement with De Beers Fuel Limited of South Africa to build 90 biodiesel reactors. Each of the biodiesel reactors will be capable of producing 10 million gallons of biodiesel each year for a total production capacity of 900,000,000 gallons per year when operating at full capacity. That’s four times greater than the entire U.S. output in 2006, according to Green Star.

The 2-ton reactors will be built by GSPI at their Glenns Ferry Facility in Idaho and delivered over the next 18 months. The first reactor was shipped November 8, 2006.

The De Beers plant is now operating at 10,000,000 gallons per year on sunflower seed oil as feedstock and has contracted for additional feedstock for additional plants. But De Beers is looking towards using algae as feedstock. According to De Beers, soybean produces 48 gallons of oil per acre per year, canola produces 140 gallons per acre and algae can produce well over 10,000 gallons per acre.

In recent weeks there have been news about the algae bioreactor operating at MIT that uses the MIT CO2 exhaust boiler emissions as feed for the algae.

De Beers has entered into an agreement with Greenfuel Technologies Corporation and has purchased and removed the MIT bioreactor and transported it to South Africa. It has been reassembled on the biodiesel plant site in Naboomspruit, South Africa, and is now awaiting the arrival of the algae to be inoculated to start production.

De Beer’s business model includes a franchising strategy and De Beers and Green Star say that most of the 90 franchised biodiesel plants are located close to electric power plants as well as other CO2 emitters, to utilize their stack emissions to feed the algae farms when they switch over feedstock from oil seed crops to algae.

According to the release, the franchising plan reduces the initial cost of the biodiesel plant for participants and that franchises will only be paying in the range of 10 cents per installed gallon, while the rest of the industry is paying $0.70 to $1.50 per installed gallon.

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