Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Investors and entrepreneurs who are interested in biofuels that make economic and ecologic sense recognize the shortcomings of biodiesel as a replacement fuel. These same investors and entrepreneurs are also aware that these same shortcommings, when overcome by technological advancement, make the potential for new biofuels, e.g. improved biodiesel, all the greater. Internationally innovative proprietors are creating greener processes that are making biofuels much more widely adoptable. Meet TBK Biodiesel.
Photo: Hungarian Inventors ("Feltalálók") of TBK Biodiesel from left to right: Bela Boros, Janos Thesz and Zoltan Kiraly, taken at the presentation of the "Invention of the year" in 2007 in Hungary.
TBK Biodiesel is a biofuel product that is made from a process that is ideal for larger scale production not only because the production process is green, but because the end product is a superior liquid transportation fuel whose adoption will eliminate the “glycerol glut”. The TBK Biodiesel production process is being earmarked as a technology platform that will make the adoption of biodiesel in the US more ubiquitous, as it is becoming more widely adopted internationally as an economically viable and sustainable replacement fuel.
With the TBK Biodiesel production process there is now a shift away from transesterification to interestification. Interestification is an extremely important step toward producing sustainable biofuel exhibiting greatly improved fuel properties with the added benefit of the fuel being derrived from a process that is relatively greener (not utilizing fossil fuel derrivatives) and more efficient (no byproducts). The TBK Biodiesel fuel product and the process from which it is derived are becoming exceedingly attractive to venture capitalists who still believe in the potential of commercializing greener biofuels.
TBK Biodiesel production technology is now being made available for the first time to biodiesel producers in the US who are interested in scaling-up the proven production process that has already received several prestigious international awards.
“OK, I would be satisfied with only $5M dollars for scaling up the thing to an industrial scale...” says proprietor Janos Thesz.
Important Technological Drivers Improving the Potential for Sustainable Biodiesel Production
For improved biodiesel to emerge in a more dominant way within the global marketplace R&D initiatives are rightly aiming at modifying oil producing organisms (algae in particular) so that minimal processing of the raw feedstock is required, as the associated cost of feedstock processing is historically too large to make production economically viable. In order to achieve the “green” and “sustainable” ideals touted by biofuel advocates the process of producing biofuels cannot utilize fossil fuel derivatives, e.g. methanol, and it cannot depend on food crops. The TBK Biodiesel production process does not use methanol and may use any oily feedstock, including algae oil, when commercially available.
With respect to the extractable portion of the harvestable bio-oil (algae) feedstock being produced achieving goals of a more sustainable process at a molecular level means accomplishing two things:
- reducing the relative fraction of longer hydrocarbons in the triglyceride molecules, and
- increasing the relative fraction of double bonds on the hydrocarbons of the triglyceride molecules.
Synthetically, TBK Biodiesel accomplishes this through a process of “partial interestification” using ethyl-acetate produced from cellulosic ethanol. This is in marked contrast to transesterification still used by most producers of biodiesel which uses methanol derived from fossil fuels, while producing glycerol, a superfluous byproduct. Ethyl acetate (i.e. its moieties) become partially incorporated into the fuel, thus affording a 1: 1.15 - 1.2 conversion of feedstock to fuel (this being 1:1 with conventional biodiesel). Moreover ethyl acetate is capable of extracting oil from algae (or from any oil-bearing crop), contrary to methanol (and ethanol), and upon adding of catalyst to this oil extract, the TBK reaction is started. So the conventional, much disliked and costly hexane-extraction step -- heavily relied upon by potential algal oil producers as well -- may well be forgotten for good.
A Gaping Market Gap for Sustainable Biofuel Production
Obviously, to some, there is a notable gap in the biofuel market place. Until photosynthetic organisms are made into suitable biofuel production factories without any need of mass energy consumption for production purposes (except for the sunlight, extraction of the biofuel directly from the organism itself, and then getting it into the fuel tank) there will be a market gap. That market gap will be filled by proprietary chemical processes that take less than suitable triglycerides and turn them into pump ready biofuel that has improved properties with respect to what is available to the biofuel consumer today, not to mention improving on the widely touted “sustainability” criteria.
Process efficiency is most important for biofuel producers looking to gain competitive advantages. Producers will gain these advantages by adopting new production technologies, like the TBK Biodiesel process, which enables significant cost reduction, improved fuel quality simultaneously. Reducing costs of production, making production more efficient (greener), and producing superior fuel qualities has been, and will be The Gap by which biofuel producers will gain competitive advantage. Again meet TBK Biodiesel.
Plugging the Gaping Technology Gap – TBK Biodiesel
TBK Biodiesel is the product of three Hungarian researchers who have made significant progress in plugging The Gap. They have eliminated the glycerol glut problem while reducing the energy required for biofuel production using “partial interestification”. Essentially partial interestification is a chemical process reacting oils, not with methanol, but with esters of short-chain carboxylic acids, so that a mixture of fatty-acid-alkyl-esters and modified triglycerides results; a proprietary product via a proprietary chemical pathway. All of this makes the TBK Biodiesel product and process a top candidate for scale-up production trials, particularly with respect to the 2009 Recovery Act incentives being made available to US biofuel producers.
These renegade international innovators from Hungary have filed international patents protecting their fuel and technology and are currently seeking investors to scale up their production process in the US. Their process has already won numerous international awards, and it is scientifically, and legally bonafide.
A major interest of the proprietors is to conduct technology roadmapping (TRM) to develop a drop-in industrial scale technology to fit into existing biofuel production facilities. TRM coupled with a technology transfer process will enable this technology and the fuel it produces to become a top replacement fuel. The potential of TBK Biodiesel as a replacement fuel should draw the attention of the most pragmatic biofuel investors. TBK Biodiesel is an important step forward toward producing economically viable green and sustainable biofuel that is commercially viable, and it is about time!
Major benefits of the Hungarian processing technology (TBK Biodiesel) and the fuel that is produced from it includes:
- the simplicity of its chemistry,
- the eco-friendly nature of its efficient manufacturing process that eliminates the glycerol bi-product stream (reducing the “glycerol glut” problem),
- reduction of exhaust gas/particulate matter owing to the fuel’s higher internal oxygen content,
- economic efficiency TBK Biodiesel brings with respect to conventional biodiesel production having lower investment costs as there is no need for glycerol-phase equipment, and
- superior fuel properties of lower gelling making it widely usable during winter months.
Please contact Andrew Blair (firstname.lastname@example.org) with further inquiry regarding TBK Biodiesel scale-up in the US.
Please also see the following website for further information regarding TBK Biodiesel: http://www.algaebiofuel.com/.