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Sunday, June 03, 2007

All Things Biodiesel

All Things Biodiesel: "And you need to make high-quality commercial biofuel while promising consistent quality to your customers, he added.

“Some people say anybody can make biodiesel if he can bake a cake,” Mr. Jobe said. “Have you ever baked a cake involving methanol, sodium hydroxide and other chemicals that could start fires?”

About 76 commercial biodiesel plants are in production today, up from 22 in 2004. The average business operates one plant that yields 30 million gallons a year of fuel and costs up to $20 million to build. Some companies are planning refineries capable of brewing up to 100 million gallons a year.

Nationwide production of the fuel tripled last year over 2004 to 75 million gallons. The board estimates that production will double this year, but Mr. Jobe estimates that the number could reach as much as, if not more, than 250 million gallons by year’s end.

That’s still a drop in the bucket compared with the nearly 140 billion gallons of gasoline the United States consumes each year. It also pales in comparison with ethanol. Last year, the global biofuels market totaled $15.7 billion in sales, of which only $1.6 billion came from biodiesel. That number could jump to $7.1 billion by 2015, says Clean Edge, a research company in Portland, Ore. But biodiesel has immediate appeal in that it does not require modifications..."
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