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
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.