Enzyme-producer Novozymes and Piedmont Biofuels will unveil a new pilot plant on 16 July to demonstrate what they call an improved technological process for the production of biodiesel. This plant—the first pilot plant of its kind in the US—uses technology developed by Piedmont Biofuels and Novozymes to create high quality biodiesel from low quality waste grease.
The enzymatic biodiesel pilot plant was developed in partnership with the Biofuels Center of North Carolina, and the Chatham County Economic Development Corporation. The pilot plant, located at Piedmont’s site in Pittsboro, NC, is expected to initially produce 12,600 gallons of biodiesel annually.
The common biodiesel production method forms soaps or salts in both the biodiesel and glycerin phases, producing low-grade co-products. Glycerin, a co-product resulting from the enzymatic process can be used to make a wide variety of products, including bioplastics and solvents.
“This new process of using enzymes to produce biodiesel will increase yields, decrease waste, and allows the producer to use lower cost feedstocks, ” said Greg Austic of Piedmont Biofuels. He noted that the technology will also create more valuable co-products, and will allow existing producers to increase their biodiesel output.