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Biodiesel Production Breakthrough Goes Commercial

October 2nd, 2009 · 1 Comment

Ever Cat Fuels, creators of the much-admired Mcgyan Biodiesel Process, just opened its refinery in Minnesota. Biodiesel breakthrough goes commercial.


Last year, we were all thrilled by the introduction of the innovative Mcgyan® Biodiesel Process to produce biodiesel. Today, Nick Chambers at Gas 2.0, reports that the developers of the process, Ever Cat Fuels, has just opened its biodiesel plant in Isanti, Minnesota capable of producing 3 million gallons (MGY) of diesel fuel every year, possibly increasing output to 33 MGY in the next 3 years.

The announcement of the breakthrough last year was a big moment for American ingenuity, and rightfully so. Before then-Augsburg College chemistry senior Brian Krohn and his scientist partners, Drs. Clayton McNeff and Ben Gyan and Prof. Arlin Gyberg developed their process, the existing biodiesel production methods were generally small-scale, have limited stockfeed options, lengthy, and produce too much unrecyclable by-products. The Mcgyan® Process (named after the three scientists) managed to provide solutions to these technology glitches.

Using “sulfated zirconia biodiesel reactors,” Krohn’s team came up with Mcgyan® Biodiesel Process which shortened the production process from hours to a few seconds, uses a “wide range of feedstock oil and animal fat” to produce fuel (including used restaurant oil), does not use water or harmful chemicals, and converts 100% of its feedstock oil to biodiesel. For a description of the process, please visit Ever Cat Fuels or see the Gas 2.0 article published last year.

WATCH: Video on the development of the Mcgyan® Biodiesel Process

Some critics point at the underlying philosophy behind the innovation – that although it has the potential to help the country break or at least reduce our reliance on foreign oil, it is still tied to the polluting technology of burning fuel (with the corresponding emissions) in an internal combustion engine. The other point raised is that the process, done on a commercial scale, will divert organics and possibly farm lands, where food crops are traditionally cultivated, to diesel fuel production – an obvious reference to the world wide food shortage last year, which was exacerbated by the widespread introduction of corn and other feedstock crops to produce ethanol.

These objections are valid and are already being addressed by the developers of this process.

The Mcgyan® process uses no water, no chemicals, produces no waste products…We believe this is a major step towards energy independence in the United States. The use of low cost waste oils vastly improves the economics of biodiesel production and makes good use of these low value commodities.

I happen to agree that this is a defining moment in our quest for energy independence in the US. Great job, Ever Cat Fuels! Hope to see one of your biodiesel stations in Oklahoma, soon.

Photo: Ever Cat Fuels

Tags: Clean Technology

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 T Shirt Galleries // Oct 13, 2009 at 11:05 am

    I agree, it may not be a perfect solution but it is a step in the right direction. Everyone is waiting for one thing to break our dependency on foreign oil but I think it will be a lot of little things that add up.