SBIR Phase II: Heterogeneous Catalyst Technology for the Economical Production of Biodiesel from High FFA Feedstocks
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project proposes a potentially viable solution for many financially stressed biodiesel producers. Industry estimates that 75% of the installed base of 173 U.S. producers is currently idle. In order become economically viable, they must be able to use less costly, and therefore, less refined agricultural source oils as their feedstock. The R & D presented here builds on a successful NSF Phase I SBIR grant focused on discovering new acidified heterogeneous catalyst formulations capable of refining lower cost feedstocks without adding substantial process costs. Phase II will use these catalysts along with reaction kinetics developed in the subsequent SBIR Phase IB to assemble and demonstrate a pilot-scale biodiesel reactor that will continuously produce FAME from high FFA feedstock (>15% FFA) with a yield greater than 90% for a minimum of six months. The broader impacts of this research are the ability to simultaneously use low cost feedstock and to greatly simplify the biodiesel production process to achieve total cost saving of ~$1.00/gal. With these savings, retrofitted, currently idled facilities will be able to produce biodiesel fuel that will be cost competitive with petroleum diesel and help meet anticipated global market demand of ~8 billion gallons of biodiesel by 2015. These markets would add employment to economically depressed areas of the United States and bring the nation closer to energy independence.
Small Business Information at Submission:
440 Burroughs Detroit, MI 48202-3429
Number of Employees: