Sud-Chemie To Make Benefuel Biodiesel Catalyst

January 8, 2008

Jonathan Shieber

Benefuel Inc., a biodiesel technology developer and distribution company, is entering an exclusive manufacturing agreement with New Delhi-based Süd-Chemie India Ltd., a subsidiary of Munich-based Süd-Chemie AG.

Under the terms of the agreement, Süd-Chemie India will manufacture the proprietary catalysts for Benefuel's biodiesel production facilities around the world.

"It helps lower our overall risk," said Rob Tripp, Benefuel's Chief Executive Officer in an interview with Clean Technology Investor. "We've got a global chemical manufacturing company with years of experience producing a catalyst in a quality, controlled environment."

Tripp declined to comment on the financial terms of the agreement.

Mt. Prospect, Ill.-based Benefuel has secured an exclusive license to solid catalyst technology developed by India's National Chemical Laboratory, in Pune. The catalyst, according to Benefuel, can turn most vegetable oils, animal fats or waste cooking oils directly into the fatty acid methyl esters, the primary components of biodiesel, without pre-processing or post-processing of the feedstock or output.

The process also produces a high-grade glycerin co-product that can be resold to companies in the chemical or pharmaceutical industry.

According to Tripp, Benefuel went with Süd-Chemie because of the good relationship the chemical manufacturer has with India's National Chemical Laboratory. "There's a history that we're leveraging," said Tripp. "We're really just focused on working with one partner as we roll this out."

In October 2007, Benefuel announced plans to construct the first biodiesel refinery to use its solid catalyst. Seymour, Ind.-based Seymour Biofuels Inc. is building a 10 million biodiesel refining facility using Benefuel's technology, also in Seymour, Ind.

Tripp estimated that the plant would cost approximately $25 million.

Construction of the first facility is scheduled to start in early 2008, with fuel production beginning in the latter half of the year.

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