Darling, San Francisco to Build Biodiesel Plant

By Tina Caparella

The Port of San Francisco has given its unanimous blessing for Darling International, Inc., and the City of San Francisco to build a 7.5 million to 10 million gallon annual capacity biodiesel production facility near Pier 92 in the port’s southern waterfront. The facility would allow for the local processing of recycled fats, greases, and tallow into biodiesel.

Darling International has operated a rendering facility on port property since 1966 and is the port’s largest maritime exporter. The plan is for Darling to upgrade its port facilities to convert fats already produced at the facility into high-quality biodiesel. The agreement with the port also includes Darling’s commitment to make site beautification and other environmental improvements.

“This facility will serve as a model for cities throughout the world who aim to reduce their carbon footprint and transform their grease waste into useable, sustainable energy,” said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. “Turning waste generated by local restaurants and other businesses into a sustainable fuel source is yet another major step in reaching our goals of carbon neutrality for city government by 2020, zero emission public transit by 2020, a 75 percent recycling rate by 2010, and zero waste in 2020.”

Darling International Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Randall Stuewe said, “We are very pleased to be working with both the city and the Port of San Francisco in developing a facility at the port that will convert used cooking oil from local restaurants into biodiesel.”

The City and County of San Francisco’s entire diesel fleet currently operates on biodiesel fuel. The transfer to biodiesel was achieved through a Mayoral Executive Order, which required 100 percent of fleets to use B20, a blend of 80 percent petroleum diesel and 20 percent biodiesel, by December 31, 2007, for the city’s 1,500 diesel vehicles.

Port Commission President Kim Brandon praised the proposal. “Darling is a long-time port maritime tenant. They are an excellent employer committed to operating a clean industrial facility and recruiting for new job openings from the surrounding community.”

Nebraska Plant to Use Tallow as Feedstock

According to Meatingplace.com, Natural Innovative Renewable Energy is planning to build a 60 million gallon per year biodiesel plant that will use tallow from Beef Products, Inc.’s, (BPI’s) plant in South Sioux City, NE, as one of its raw material sources. The $100 million biodiesel plant due to begin construction this fall or early next year will sit on a 10-acre site just north of the BPI plant.

Plans call for the tallow to flow from the beef plant to the biodiesel plant through an above-ground pipe. According to Meatplace.com, BPI will invest in the venture, the first direct involvement the company has had with a biodiesel project.

Massachusetts Mandates Biofuels

In late July, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed into law the Clean Energy Biofuels Act, which will require a minimum percentage of biofuel in all diesel fuel and home heating fuel sold in the Commonwealth, starting at two percent in 2010 and ramping up to five percent by 2013. Massachusetts is the first state in the nation to require biofuel in home heating oil. All biofuels must meet high standards for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions over their entire lifecycles (growing, processing, and combustion) in order to qualify for the content mandate. The state’s Department of Energy Resources has authority to delay the minimum content requirements if there are no biofuels available that meet those standards.

The act also includes provisions to exempt cellulosic biofuels from the state gasoline excise tax and requires Massachusetts to develop a Low Carbon Fuel Standard that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector by 10 percent. To date, only California has committed to developing a Low Carbon Fuel Standard, which could be met by a range of possible technologies, such as more and better biofuels, plug-in hybrids, all-electric cars, or other innovations.

Oregon Biodiesel Plant Expands, Triggers Mandate

The Sequential-Pacific Biodiesel, LLC, (SQPB) plant in Salem, OR, recently celebrated a zero-waste upgrade and capacity expansion to five million gallons per year. The grand opening event showcased the plant’s technology and was headlined by country music legend Willie Nelson and a host of Oregon government officials. The expansion also brought the addition of a new oil collection trucking service, Encore Oils. The plant has been producing biodiesel since 2005.

The Salem plant currently processes recycled cooking oil from restaurants and food processors such as Burgerville and Kettle Foods. In 2006, the facility also processed 20,000 gallons of canola oil grown in eastern Oregon. With the addition of Encore Oils for collection, and the expanded in-state canola production, SQPB expects stable feedstock prices.

On July 12, 2006, the Portland City Council voted to approve a citywide renewable fuels standard (RFS). The standard went into effect July 1, 2007, and requires a minimum five percent blend of biodiesel for all fuel sold for vehicle use in the city limits. According to SQPB, the City of Portland ordinance expands the annual market for biodiesel in Oregon from four million to eight million gallons per year.

Also in July 2007, a statewide RFS was signed by the governor, mandating a two percent blend of biodiesel in all state diesel fuel once biodiesel production in Oregon reached five million gallons. SQPB’s Salem plant expects to reach full capacity in November 2008.

Resort Converts Kitchen Grease to Biodiesel

The Fairmont Scottsdale in Scottsdale, AZ, is partnering with local biodiesel manufacturer AZ BioDiesel to take more than 700 gallons of used cooking oil from the resort’s kitchen and create nearly 600 gallons of biodiesel monthly. According to news reports, the resort’s grease was previously collected and shipped out of state.

Storage and Distribution Terminal Launched

Tellurian Biodiesel, an independent distributor and marketer of biodiesel, and Golden State Foods (GSF), one of the largest diversified suppliers to the quick-service restaurant industry, are jointly launching a new biodiesel storage and distribution terminal in Los Angeles, CA, under an agreement signed by the two companies earlier this year.

The new venture, located at DK Environmental storage and rail facility south of downtown Los Angeles, was slated to begin operations in late September. It will provide high-quality B99 (99 percent biodiesel, one percent diesel fuel) to fuel distributors and other wholesale customers throughout Southern California. The terminal’s three-acre site is served by two railroads and allows for multiple tanker truck staging.

Tellurian and GSF recently announced another joint venture, Encore BioRenewables, which will build its first production facility in Southern California to convert used cooking grease and other recyclable domestic fats and oils into biodiesel. Once this plant is online, a portion of its production will be marketed through the new Los Angeles terminal.

Upon opening, the terminal will begin the BQ-9000 Marketer accreditation process, a quality assurance program administered by the National Biodiesel Board. Plans call for additional distribution facilities throughout the United States as the market develops.

Tellurian currently toll manufactures biodiesel at multiple plants around the country and, together with GSF, is developing domestic markets with regional and national distribution partners.

The biodiesel marketed through the new terminal will be sold to trucking companies, municipal fleets, and to GSF to fuel its distribution fleet.

“Opening this terminal ensures that our customers will have access to a reliable supply of high-quality, sustainable biodiesel,” said Joe Gershen, Tellurian’s vice president of sales and marketing.

“This new joint venture will represent the first concrete step forward in our shared plans to manufacture and distribute sustainable biodiesel nationwide,” said Mike Geisler, general manager of GSF’s Strategic Sourcing Alliance division.

Southwest Biofuels Group Formed

In order to help boost biofuel production in New Mexico and the Southwest, the Southwestern Biofuels Association (SWBA) was publically launched at a legislative session in Santa Fe, NM, in mid-August 2008.

The SWBA’s primary objective is to promote biofuels development through strategic partnerships between the biofuels industry, universities, national laboratories, state and federal governmental agencies, educators, business entrepreneurs, agribusiness, environmental, and other interested organizations. Educating the public and consumers on the benefits of biofuels will also be an important objective of the group.

In 2007, New Mexico’s government approved a law that requires all diesel fuel sold in the state to contain at least five percent biodiesel by 2012. Currently, American Renewable Fuels, one of four SWBA board members, is the only company with plans to construct a biodiesel plant in New Mexico. Other board members include Green Earth Fuels, LLC, Houston, TX; Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM; and Symbios Technologies.

Wisconsin Group Names VP

Richard “Hardy” Sawall, senior vice president of Midwest Operations for New York-based Innovation Fuels, has been appointed vice president of the Wisconsin Biodiesel Association.

The Wisconsin Biodiesel Association is a membership trade organization that holds quarterly general meetings and promotes the commercial development, production, marketing, distribution, and utilization of biodiesel and other renewable biofuels.

Biofuels Bulletin – October 2008 RENDER | back