Evonik Degussa sees fast growth in US biodiesel

30 July 2008 23:56  [Source: ICIS news]

MOBILE, Alabama (ICIS news)--Evonik Degussa officials said they expect the US biodiesel market to continue to grow rapidly as the company broke ground on Wednesday on an alkoxide plant.

Alkoxides are used as catalysts in biodiesel production. Evonik said its sodium methylates and potassium methylates catalysts will be sold for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) market.

The Mobile plant, which will have a 60,000 tonnes/year capacity, is expected to start operations in February.

“One of the benefits of our catalysts is that it offers customers the benefit of consistent high biodiesel yields and high purity glycerol as a by-product,” said Jose Berges, vice president and general manager of Evonik’s electrolysis products & alkoxides.

“Our catalysts also has the flexibility to use any type of biodiesel feedstock such as soybean oil, rapeseed oil, animal fats or waste cooking oil,” he added.

A second alkoxide plant is being planned for Brazil to focus on the growing South American biodiesel industry, said Berges. He did not disclose a specific location but said that the plant is expected to start operation in 2010.

Both alkoxide investments are estimated in the double-digit million euro range, the company said.

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By: Doris de Guzman
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