Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Economic Evaluation of a Site-Specific Biodiesel Production Unit(ST7684-1)

Biodiesel Technologies, Inc.


Blending biodiesel into petroleum based diesel and home heating oil is a growing practice.

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Project Description

This project aimed to help commercialize an innovative and proprietary continuous-flow process for the production of a cost-competitive biodiesel that meets American Standards and Testing Methods (ASTM) standards by designing, fabricating, and demonstrating a commercially-sized process demonstration unit (PDU) of approximately 300 gallons/hour at a site within the Capital or North Country Region of New York. The patent-pending process was co-developed with Cornell University and is designed to produce biodiesel at higher yields and lower capital and operating costs than existing methods.


The process could offer improved production efficiencies, higher yields, and cheaper operating and construction costs than existing processes. Energy consumption is estimated to be less than 800 Btus/gallon; at least 50% lower than batch processing. Production costs are up to 10% cheaper than other continuous flow processes. The modular units can be fabricated in New York State (NYS). A 30% smaller footprint aids in designing the units to piggy-back onto other existing industrial processes. It is hoped the cost to produce biodiesel will be low enough to compete with current low sulfur diesel blends, but without the associated lubricity problems. In the near term, this project will create two new manufacturing jobs, which may grow to five jobs in two years. Ultimately, there could be as many as six to eight PDUs operating within NYS alone that could produce an estimated 10 to 20 million gallons of biodiesel annually.

Project Results

Work was to include: 1) Screening and selection of a proposed biodiesel manufacturing site for the PDU; 2) Site-specific assessment of local/regional feedstock sources, supplies, quality, and costs, including both vegetable oil and/or recycled vegetable oils or animal fats; 3) Identification and preparation of required operational permits; 4) Site-specific preliminary process design and economics for the full-scale PDU manufacturing facility; 5) Bench-scale process optimization with site-specific feedstock; 6) Construction of a commercially viable 300 gallon/hr PDU in the Capital or North Country Region of New York; 7) Operation of the PDU with site-specific feedstock, to determine the efficacy and operational parameters needed to handle specific feedstock, and resulting in ASTM-grade biodiesel; 8) Determination of the economic parameters associated with production of biodiesel from each specific feedstock, and comparison to the cost of ultra-low-sulfur diesel; and 9) Developing markets for biodiesel through existing fuel distributor(s) in the Capital and/or North Country Region. The biodiesel production unit was fabricated and assembled in New York, but then shipped to the firm’s new location in Oklahoma. Identification of New York State operational permits was therefore not completed. Other objectives are currently ongoing, but in Oklahoma. The firm relocated from New York to Tulsa, Oklahoma as a result of an agreement reached with a new, significant investor.


Biodiesel Technologies, Inc.
Attn: Carina Ramirez 71 Cross River Rd.
Pound Ridge, NY 10576

Principle Investigator

Carina Ramirez Cohen

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: ST7684-1

Last Updated: 11/18/2010