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Renewable Diesel Production from Biofuel Co-Products

Grant Number:   13-06

GRANT ACTIVE DATE

7/1/13 - 6/30/16

PROGRAM AREA

AWARD AMOUNT

181,072

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Dr. J (Hans) van Leeuwen

LOCATION

Ames, IA

STATUS

closed

ORGANIZATION

Iowa State University

FOCUS

This project’s objectives are to demonstrate how the large volumes of co-products resulting from the corn-to-ethanol production process can be processed in a unique way and then the resulting lipid oils refined into a “drop-in” diesel fuel replacement biofuel. The project will attempt to demonstrate an end-to-end co-products processing system at pilot scale that can be installed on-site at an ethanol facility, that can radically improve the efficiency and economics of the corn-ethanol industry.

This project seeks to demonstrate an end-to-end, fungi-to-fuel production system operating at pilot scale. The fungal oil production process, developed by van Leeuwen, will cultivate fungi on thin stillage from ethanol production,  using an existing 1,600 liter pilot plant currently installed at Lincolnway Energy. Collaborating with Renewable Fuel Products, the project team will refine the oil produced by the fungi into renewable diesel. All production systems will be operated at pilot scale and will demonstrate that the technology is ready for installation in the corn-to-ethanol industry. The project will also seek to demonstrate the economic potential of the end-to-end, fungal oil to renewable diesel system and show that implementing this technology could potentially produce a
revenue stream of greater than $125 million per year for Iowa’s ethanol industry, and over $500 million per year of additional income for the entire US ethanol industry.