Sud-Chemie Enters Biodiesel Market as Manufacturer of Benefuel Catalysts
Global Chemical Giant Picks Illinois-Based Startup with Indian Technology
NEW DELHI, India and MT. PROSPECT, Ill., Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Benefuel, Inc., a new-generation biodiesel refining and distribution company, announced today an exclusive, world-wide manufacturing agreement with New Delhi-based Sud-Chemie India Pvt. Ltd. (SCIL), a joint venture of Munich, Germany-based Sud-Chemie AG, one of the world's largest catalyst companies. Under the terms of the manufacturing and supply agreement, SCIL will manufacture the proprietary catalysts for Benefuel's biodiesel production facilities around the world.
"This partnership with SCIL validates the unique attributes of our catalyst technology and the ability of our business model to serve international markets," said Rob Tripp, CEO of Benefuel. "SCIL has decades of experience with catalyst manufacturing, including extensive experience in the chemicals market. We're proud that SCIL picked Benefuel for its first foray into the biodiesel industry."
Benefuel's solid catalyst technology, developed by leading chemists and chemical engineers at India's prestigious National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), based in Pune, can turn most vegetable oils, animal fats or waste cooking oils directly into fatty acid methyl esters, without the need for costly pre-processing or post-process water washing. Benefuel's ENSEL (TM) process, which employs these catalysts, also produces a highly pure glycerin co-product. The purity of this glycerin permits its direct conversion into other commercially attractive chemicals or to pharmaceutical grade glycerin, providing an additional revenue stream for biodiesel manufacturers. The catalysts can also be used with long-chain alcohols to produce premium biolubricant base oils.
"Sud-Chemie has long been active in the research, development and production of heterogeneous catalysts," said Arshia Lalljee, Managing Director of Sud-Chemie India, "and Benefuel's exclusive license to commercialize technology from NCL created an opportunity for SCIL to expand into new catalyst applications and to apply some of its own proprietary technologies to the biodiesel market. We are pleased to partner with NCL and Benefuel in commercializing the solid catalyst technology."
In October, Benefuel announced plans to construct the world's first industrial-scale biodiesel refinery to use its novel, solid catalyst. Construction of the plant, to be located in Seymour, Ind., U.S., will begin in early 2008.
About Benefuel, Inc.
Benefuel, Inc. is a new-generation biodiesel refining and distribution company whose streamlined production process allows for distributed and scalable biodiesel plants that leverage local resources, enable cost advantages for producers and distributors, and facilitate expansion of the biofuels market. Benefuel’s proprietary catalytic technology--developed by a world-leading chemical engineering laboratory--eliminates the need for washing biodiesel in the refining process and expands the range of viable feedstock options to include high FFA animal fats, crude vegetable oils and waste oils, thus reducing the environmental footprint of biodiesel production and ensuring consistent access to feedstock across developing markets. Benefuel's refining process yields a market-ready, 98% or higher, pure glycerin – eliminating the crude glycerin waste stream typically found in biodiesel production today and generating significant additional revenue.