Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Vegetable Oil Refinery Feasibility(ST6638-1)

East Coast Olive Oil, Inc.


New York State (NYS) grows almost four million bushels of soybeans each year. When the beans are crushed, soymeal and crude soy oil are made. The meal is sold to dairy farmers, and the crude oil is sent to a refinery. Currently all refineries are out of New York State, and there are none left in the Northeast. Shipping costs for crude oil therefore, are increasing as the price of crude oil is decreasing, and there is a risk that crushers could go out of business. A small local refinery could support NYS farmers, crushers, and marketers.

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Project Description

The goals were to: 1) complete a market analysis of the major input into the proposed refining facility, including available supplies of input, pricing, geographic dispersion, and other relevant factors 2) complete a facility concept design for refining crude vegetable oils and yellow grease into food and fuel products, including elements that maximize the chances for profitability at a small scale refinery as well as information on capital costs, operating costs, labor requirements, capacity constraints, and other topics deemed relevant 3) complete a market analysis of the refined products produced at the refinery, including an analysis of the primary as well as all secondary products resulting from the refining process. Markets for all products will be identified and quantified along with disposal costs for wastes and 4) make recommendations on whether or not to proceed with the development and construction of a vegetable oil refinery in New York State


Loss of the major NYS soybean crushers could lead to higher prices; for soymeal of up to $5-10/ton, for NYS dairy farmers because of the lack of competition, and the added cost of shipping from the Midwest. Soybean planting has been increasing in NYS for 10 years, but may not continue without crushing facilities. Jobs, perhaps several dozen, would be created by a new refinery.

Project Results

The feasibility study was positive with respect to a possible vegetable oil refinery.


East Coast Olive Oil, Inc.
75 Wurz Ave
Utica, NY 13502

Principle Investigator

Steve Mandia

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Indigenous/Renewable Energy Resources

Technologies Types:

NYSERDA Contact Information

Judy Jarnefeld


R&D - Environment & Energy Res

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST6638-1

Last Updated: 12/28/2010