Volume 7, Issue 2
Published: March 1, 2013
One small step for oil

Nesté Oil is one company that should be delighted by the EC’s recent proposals favouring advanced biofuels. To find out more about the impact this will have Keeley Downey went to visit the producer’s new advanced microbial oil plant

 

On a recent flight to Finland to visit Nesté Oil HQ, Buzz Aldrin, US astronaut and second person to walk on the Moon, popped up on the television screen and described himself as a ‘risk taker’; a fearless man who’s risk was worth taking because: ‘The only device to take us back in time is our memory. We are made to move forward and we have to study the future fearlessly’. This, it turned out, was a Nesté Oil advertisement.

And looking to the future is exactly what this small oil company is doing with the development of Europe’s first microbial oil R&D plant, built alongside the technology centre at its site in Porvoo, Finland. Between now and 2015 Nesté will be working to develop technology capable of producing microbial oil on an industrial scale, with the oil expected to enter commercial production in 2015 at the earliest. Phase one of the €8 million facility was completed in August last year, with Nesté officially opening the plant in October.

The decision to explore the potential of microbial oil as a feedstock for its NExBTL renewable diesel was an obvious one for Nesté. Speaking in the company’s technology centre Petri Lehmus, VP of R&D, said: ‘For now most of our efforts are with microbial oil. This is a nice concept as it produces food and fuel rather than food or fuel.’ The residual biomass left after the microbes have been pressed for oil can be used in the animal feed industry.

To read the article in full you have to be a subscriber...
Further Articles in this Issue:
A new report calls for Europe to completely move away from first generation biofuels as the continent chases 2020 targets   A new report published near the end of January has put European green transportation... [Read more]
The newly proposed biofuels levels in the US has sparked fierce defence by the industry in the face of stiff opposition   The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed its 2013 percentage... [Read more]
California, which has long been considered a hub of innovation in the biofuels industry, has this week been named as the US’ ‘top biofuel state’. Environmental Entrepreneurs, a national... [Read more]
The second generation production process is more complex than the first, largely because the carbon required is not present in a form that is easily available to microorganisms, such as starch or sugar.... [Read more]
Now Europe is being forced into taking cellulosic ethanol seriously, James Barrett looks at what producers can learn from ‘across the pond’   At the start of February seven giants came... [Read more]
All commodities are vulnerable to price volatility and biofuels, just like their hydrocarbon counterparts, are no exception. Poor harvests, recession, competition for feedstock and political whimsy can... [Read more]
In January 2013 Iogen Corporation announced that Danish enzyme manufacturer Novozymes was to acquire one of its two divisions, Iogen Bio-Products (IBP). IBP makes and sells a wide variety of enzyme products... [Read more]
South America is home to two of the world’s biofuel powerhouses: Brazil, the ethanol king and Argentina, the biodiesel champion. Argentina is the second largest biodiesel producer with production... [Read more]
The president of the Colombian National Federation of Biofuels Jorge Bendeck reveals how the country is increasing its future production   Despite suffering from floods at the end of 2010 and start... [Read more]
Already being trialled in Brazil, it seems there is no end to the end-uses for sugarcane   In countries such as Cuba, Spain and Thailand, sugarcane is cultivated solely for producing sugar and ethanol.... [Read more]
Nesté Oil is one company that should be delighted by the EC’s recent proposals favouring advanced biofuels. To find out more about the impact this will have Keeley Downey went to visit the... [Read more]
Biofuel manufacturers are open to a number of potential environmental liabilities. Left uninsured these liabilities could badly affect the company’s financial performance   Biofuels manufacturers... [Read more]
Grease theft, supply and demand fundamentals and a major new facility are the main stories in 2013 for biodiesel’s fat and grease recyclers   In the early morning hours of December 28 in Riverside,... [Read more]
Research into biofuels not based around human foodstuffs, but rather start as wild grass or a by-product, requires special experimental tools which are a key part of the race towards renewable source fuels... [Read more]
The conversion of biomass feedstocks into second generation biofuels presents many challenges both to process developers and producers. While technological progress has been recently achieved, we still... [Read more]
Recent technology developments will allow process improvements to be introduced into the biofuels industry driving yield and plant profitability higher than the currently expected yield baseline results... [Read more]
With high feedstock prices in the US, high bagasse prices for steam in Brazil and low ethanol prices across the board, the ethanol industry is struggling to stay profitable. The market is not seeing major... [Read more]
Changing market circumstances lead to new challenges for existing biodiesel plants that were originally designed to process vegetable and waste oils   Biodiesel standards are becoming more stringent... [Read more]
Renewable fuels company JatroFuels gives an insight into the current state of jatrophabased transport fuel   Recognising the challenges of sustainability, biodiversity and delicate ecosystems, it... [Read more]
In today’s unpredictable and volatile marketplace, a flexible facility can avoid foreclosure and bankruptcy   There is growing opportunity to successfully develop community-scale oilseed processing... [Read more]
Non-food feedstocks such as wood, straw and grass have obvious advantages. However they mainly contain lignocellulose, a complex of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, which makes traditional fermentation... [Read more]
Feedstocks for biofuels, whether food-based or otherwise (grass/ straw and waste sludge-like materials), must be pumped and mixed during processing. Particulate material, sometimes fibrous in nature, populates... [Read more]