Japanese-based Itochu Corp., Texas-based Benefuel, and Flint Hills Resources Renewable LLC have launched a joint venture to produce biodiesel fuel from inedible feedstocks in Nebraska, targeting production of 50 million gallons a year.
On 23 May, Itochu Corp. and its subsidiary Itochu Enex Co. announced they would invest in the Benefuel-Flint Hills Resources Renewables next generation biodiesel venture, though financial information has not been released. Itochu has been a strategic partner and investor in Benefuel since 2011.
Benefuel claims to have breakthrough technology that converts oil and fat and free fatty acids (FFA) into biodiesel fuel in a single step, making the process much more cost effective.
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Benefuel’s patented ENSEL refining technology could improve profitability and reduce resource consumption and waste. The facility intends to produce 5% of ALL biodiesel production in the US.
ENSEL has been validated independently by FHR and Itochu at two separate 1 ton per day demonstration facilities.
“As a result of our year-long demonstration experiment in Japan with our partner company, we are confident of the enormous advantage of the ENSEL technology over conventional biodiesel production methods,” said Yasushi Kiyobayashi, deputy general manager of the corporate development department at Itochu Corp.
By. Jen Alic of Oilprice.com