Benefuel, Inc., a Chicago-based biodiesel refining and distribution firm, has unveiled an exclusive worldwide manufacturing agreement with catalyst manufacturer Sud-Chemie India Pvt. Ltd. (SCIL) of New Delhi, India (a joint venture of Munich, Germany-based Sud-Chemie AG). Under the terms of the manufacturing and supply agreement, the India-based supplier will manufacture the proprietary catalysts for Benefuel's biodiesel production facilities around the world, including an industrial-scale biodiesel refinery to be located in Seymour, IN. Production of the Indiana plant is scheduled to begin in early 2008.
Benefuel's solid catalyst technology, originally developed by chemists and chemical engineers at India's National Chemical Laboratory, can turn most vegetable oils, animal fats or waste cooking oils directly into fatty acid methyl esters, without the need for costly pre-processing or post-process water washing, according to Benefuel.
The process, which employs these catalysts, also produces a highly pure glycerin co-product. The purity of this glycerin permits its direct conversion into other commercially attractive chemicals or to pharmaceutical grade glycerin, providing an additional revenue stream for biodiesel manufacturers. The catalysts can also be used with long-chain alcohols to produce premium bio-lubricant base oils.
"This partnership with SCIL validates the unique attributes of our catalyst technology and the ability of our business model to serve international markets," said Rob Tripp, CEO of Benefuel. "SCIL has decades of experience with catalyst manufacturing, including extensive experience in the chemicals market. We're proud that SCIL picked Benefuel for its
first foray into the biodiesel industry."