Greenline's Waterless Biodiesel Process Receives Funding

Greenline Industries, a San Franscisco-based biofuel equipment company, secured $20 million in investment capital to further the development of its patented “waterless” biodiesel system. Increased demand for water for use in biofuel production, including the refining of biodiesel, has led to concerns about water scarcity. Greenline eliminates these problems by utilizing an ion resin catalyst instead of water to cleanse the fuel.

Peter Brown, head of international sales for Greenline Industries, told, “Our systems use no water and no chemicals.” Brown also said that the Greenline process could be applied to existing biodiesel refineries to eliminate the use of water and chemicals. “Our ‘waterless’ biodiesel process does not have to be built from ground up.” The company has sold 30 biodiesel plants worldwide.

Biodiesel is a renewable fuel that can be used in diesel engines without any modification—although most diesel-producing carmakers will only allow a 5 percent blend under warranty. In the United States, commercial biodiesel is defined by ASTM specifications, which outline specific properties of the fuel, such as viscosity and sulfur content. Rules like the ASTM standard ensure that certified biodiesel burns properly in modern diesel engines. Biodiesel can also be home-brewed using waste cooking oil as the base fuel. Residual water in biodiesel fuel can make it more difficult for the fuel to combust, reducing its power.

The funding comes from London-based Leaf Clean Energy, an energy venture firm that invests in alternative fuels and renewable power generation. The deal comes as biofuels are coming under greater scrutiny for potential negative environmental and economic impacts. Amber Thurlo Pearson, spokeswoman for the National Biodiesel Board, was quoted on, “Right now, we’re seeing more of a steady growth, rather than the extreme growth that we saw over the last couple of years.”

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  • Jeff

    Apparently they have not heard the news that Biodiesel is not a net positive energy source. Perfecting cellulose based biodiesel would be better news.

  • Dom

    One step at a time Jeff. Removing the water consumption sounds to me like a good step in the right direction. Besides, we’re not talking about the source of the base fuel, but the process of converting it into Biodiesel. So whatever the base fuel, the process has now been improved. Of course, I should probably keep quiet, as I don’t know much about the whole processes.

  • eddiequest

    Don’t you worry ’bout that. It’s all coming at about the same time. (think-algae)

  • andrea

    Biodiesel produces three more units of energy than it takes to make. What about that is not a net positive energy source?

  • CLD

    Biodiesel is made by trans-esterifying fatty acid triglycerides to fatty acid methyl esters. Cellulose is not involved.

  • Carson O’Genic

    I imagine calculating the net gain or loss of energy in making biodiesel is hard to calculate as the source of fats and oils used in making biodiesel is varied.

    Restaurants often recycle or sell their leftover grease which can be used to make many products in addition to biodiesel. Homeowners often dump it down the drain. Here in San Francisco they are expanding the recycling of food grease because dumping it down the drain costs lots of money in sewer repairs. So it is a win-win to recycle the grease and use it for fuel or other products.

    Check out:

  • Peter Brown

    The discussion on what constitues an energy neutral, deficit or credit is still up in the air. The Pimentel report has been proven to be totally biased and probably requested by a large petroleum company. Check out the berkeley website where the report originated and notice the request for continued petro dollars. As we examine new sources of oil, from algae to camelina and animal fats we are discovering that there are alternatives and that the Greenline process, which can handle any oil to produce biodiesel is thewave of the future. Add to that the waterless feature and you have clean environment open to a number of alternatives. But some of you guys are absolutely on the money, it is much better to support big oil with wars, high profits and subsidies than to try and change things. I would also like to point out that energy is a relative term, if all you have is palm oil and are forced to pay huge amounts of your GNP for basic energy needs, than I think that they should look at biodiesel. Of course this interferes with big oil’s pitiful profit schemes, but I think small countries must be ruthless and protect themselves.

  • Actually, biodiesel is a net positive energy source. 3.2:1

    Ethanol is a loser on energy. Biodiesel is a positive energy balance of 3.2-3.5 to 1.

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