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Posted in | Nanoenergy | Nanobusiness

EcoloCap Solutions Announces Sale of NPW-30 Unit to R3 Energy

Published on June 30, 2010 at 8:03 PM

EcoloCap Solutions Inc., an integrated network of environmentally-focused technology companies utilizing nanotechnology to develop efficient alternative energy solutions, today announced the sale of a NPW-30 unit to R3 Energy LLC of Cottonwood Falls, Kansas. The contract price was $441,000 of which $175,000 was received, the balance due 20 days after commissioning (90 - 100 days). This introductory price includes one container of additive necessary for processing. This installation should require at least 5 container loads of additive per year.

The NPW-30 produces 30 metric tons per day of biodiesel from either waste vegetable oil or animal fat, requiring no pre-processing. EcoloCap's process utilizes nanotechnology and proprietary additive, one of the factors in reducing production costs. The EcoloCap technology can process feedstock with Free Fatty Acid (FFA) of up to 99.2% into ASTM grade biodiesel. Feedstock with high FFA being much less expensive represents another factor in reducing the cost of the finished product.

The ECOS efficiency claims are based upon the comparison with the traditional steps required to synthesize biodiesel which are as follows:

Feedstock pretreatment. If waste vegetable oil (WVO) is used, it is filtered to remove dirt, charred food, and other non-oil material often found. Water needs to be removed because its presence causes the triglycerides to hydrolyze, giving salts of the fatty acids (soaps) instead of undergoing transesterification to give biodiesel.

Determination and treatment of free fatty acids: A sample of the cleaned feedstock oil is then titrated with a standardized base solution in order to determine the concentration of free fatty acids (carboxylic acids) present in the waste vegetable oil sample. These acids are then either esterified into biodiesel, esterified into bound glycerides, or removed, typically through neutralization.

Reactions. While adding the base, a slight excess is factored in to provide the catalyst for the transesterification. The calculated quantity of base (usually sodium hydroxide) is added slowly to the alcohol and it is stirred until it dissolves. Sufficient alcohol is added to make up three full equivalents of the triglyceride, and an excess of usually six parts alcohol to one part triglyceride is added to drive the reaction to completion.

Product purification. Products of the reaction include not only biodiesel, but also byproducts, soap, glycerin, excess alcohol, and trace amounts of water. All of these byproducts must be removed, though the order of removal is process-dependent.

The density of glycerin being greater than that of biodiesel, this property difference is exploited to separate the bulk of the glycerol byproduct. Residual methanol is typically removed through distillation and reused, though it can be washed out (with water) as a waste. Soaps can be removed or converted into acids. Any residual water must be removed from the fuel.

In contrast to that traditional biodiesel technology the ECOS NPW-30 is an automatic batch flow which has only one processing step. The ECOS process reduces the oils to nano-sized particles (less than 1 micron) and the process is independent of the amounts of FFA. Size does matter, at least to small particles. Nano sized particles take on unusual properties. The solubility product and miscibility change and physical separations can occur on a molecular level. The addition of the additive performs the conversion of the fatty acids into glycerin not glycerol. The biodiesel resulting meets or exceeds all ASTM requirements. The glycerin produced by the ECOS process is pharmaceutical grade and can be sold, as is, to the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industries. There are no other by-products of manufacturing and no catalysts to recover. The ECOS cost is a minimum of 25% of standard transesterification.

Jerry McCalla, President of R3 Energy, stated: "With the NPW-30, we initially plan to produce some 9,000 gallons of high quality biodiesel per day. However, we have the capacity to produce over five times that quantity. After the installation of the first unit, we plan to order additional equipment for our company to reach its full potential. This means a lot for our industry and could be a major factor in the alternative fuel market. We also note that EcoloCap offers a Glycerin Refining Process that will extract glycerin from biodiesel to medical grade 99+%. This will represent a welcome additional bonus for our operation."

Michael Siegel, President and CEO of EcoloCap stated: "We are pleased to deal with a forward-looking company like R3 Energy. The R3 Energy management team recognized the opportunity that our processes offer to their industry and we commend them for their vision. For EcoloCap, this is a significant entry into the huge alternative fuel market. There will be a lot of industry observers watching with interest."

Further information on EcoloCap Solutions Inc. and its products and services can be found at http://www.ecolocap.com.

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