Culturing Solutions, Inc. holds the keys to success for making Algae a reality as a leading feedstock for Biodiesel production. This has been achieved through the development of the Phyta-Platform and the downstream process to extract the lipids easily and economically. Biodiesel is the fastest growing renewable fuel in the United States with an average growth rate in excess of 100% per year over the past five years. Biodiesel is renewable, environmentally friendly, and mixes easily with diesel fuel at rates between 2% and 100%. Biodiesel improves the lubricity of petroleum based diesel fuel significantly at inclusion levels as low as 2%.
Biodiesel is an alternative fuel that can be used in neat (pure) form, or blended with petroleum diesel for use in compression ignition (diesel) engines. Its physical and chemical properties as it relates to the operation of diesel engines are similar to petroleum based fuel. The official definition for Biodiesel is: “Biodiesel” – a fuel comprised of mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oils or animal fats, designated B100.
Biodiesel is typically produced by a reaction of a vegetable oil, animal fat or ALGAE LIPID OIL with an alcohol such as methanol or ethanol, in the presence of a catalyst to yield mono-alkyl esters and glycerin, which are separated. The finished biodiesel derives approximately 10% of its mass from the reacted alcohol. Although biodiesel is considered a renewable fuel, the alcohol used in the reaction may or may not come from renewable resources.
Biodiesel can be used in any diesel engine with little or no engine modification even at a B100 level. Biodiesel can also be blended at any ratio from 1% to 100% (pure or neat biodiesel) and blends as low as 1% have been shown to increase lubricity up to 65%. However, blends of 2% offer a higher amount of lubricity benefit for lesser incremental cost. In most cases, biodiesel must be blended at a rate of 2% for it to be considered “biodiesel”.
When compared to petroleum diesel fuel, biodiesel provides significant reductions in harmful emissions. Biodiesel significantly improves air quality, is biodegradable and is less toxic than table salt.
The environmental benefits of biodiesel have been proven through some of the most rigorous testing of any renewable fuel. Biodiesel is the first and only alternative fuel to have a complete evaluation of emission results and potential health effects submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the U.S. Clean Air Act Section 211 (b). These programs include the most stringent emissions testing protocols ever required by EPA for certification of fuels or fuel additives.