In 2016 the domestic biodiesel feedstock market demand was 1.2 billion gallons of combined virgin oil and reclaimed fats, oils, and greases. 70% of biodiesel producers in the United States used a single base chemical process called transesterification with high priced high-quality virgin Soy, Corn, or Canola to make biodiesel.
The remaining 30%, rely on lower quality and lower cost used cooking oils, animal fats, and greases with up to 15% free fatty acid content. These lower quality feedstocks require a more expensive two-step acid esterification then base transesterification chemical process to produce Biodiesel.
The chemical transesterification process in both types of plants is predictable and cost effective for low Free Fatty Acid (FFA) cooking oils and virgin oils. This has made feedstocks with less than 5% FFA in high demand and driven their prices to a premium. Recently, low FFA feedstocks have sold for prices exceeding the price of diesel fuel.
These low FFA feedstocks are distributed unevenly so the scale of a facilities’ capacity is limited by the availability and cost of this feedstock. Many times, this is the limiting factor for many plants’ success or ability to scale and is frequently the reason they fail when fuel prices drop unexpectedly.
From an environmental perspective, this process is beneficial as it upcycles problematic waste stream into fuels while reducing biofuel production dependence on food crops and the negative political and economic issues that dependence creates.
From an economic perspective BioCrude will allow the Biodiesel plants to increase production volumes, decrease production expenses or both which offers a greater profitability and the ability to weather volatile biofuel market conditions with more certainty.
Today concerns about global warming, carbon emissions, the uncertainty of biodiesel feedstock supply, and the averse effect of inflated commodity prices for corn and soy on human health in developing nations, are rapidly strengthening the market for non food based Biodiesel feedstocks. Of the many Biofuels feedstocks available, Sunshine BioCrude presents the greatest value to Biodiesel refinery owners economically, environmentally, and socially.