16 April 2008 02:50 [Source: ICIS news]
ORLANDO, Florida (ICIS news)--Slumping margins are driving technology companies to offer solutions that could help biodiesel refiners to cut costs or boost their profits, industry executives said on Tuesday.
Adsorbent products producer Oil-Dri Corp recommended eliminating water washing in biodiesel process using silicates to reduce production costs.
The water washing process removes impurities such as soaps, phospholipids and metals, said Roberto Berbesi, Oil-Dri’s technical and sales manager for Latin America, at the Soaps, Detergents, Oleochemical and Personal Care (SODEOPEC) conference in Orlando.
"Biodiesel refineries are facing the challenge of using lesser quality feedstock and developing alternative processing methods to improve efficiency," said Berbesi.
"Silicates can eliminate the cost of water washing as they are extremely efficient in the removal of soaps, phospholipids and trace metals."
Engineering firm Crown Iron Works said biodiesel producers should enter the refined glycerine market to boost their profits.
Pharmaceutical grade glycerine has a huge run-up in demand especially from China and India, said Dan Anderson, Crown Iron Work’s director of Asian operations.
"USP grade glycerine has received a huge amount of market interest because of the surge in demand and resulting prices," said Anderson.
"With crude glycerine available at $800/tonne (€504/tonne) and pharmaceutical grade product currently selling around $1,400 to $1,600/tonne, there is substantial justification for entering the glycerine market," he added.
Anderson estimated potential operating profits for biodiesel producers could be around $10m using current price levels.
The three-day conference, which is hosted by the American Oil Chemists Society (AOCS), ends on Wednesday.
($1 = €0.63)
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