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					     INSIDE: TAPPING ETHANOL PLANTS FOR CORN OIL FEEDSTOCK

    November 2006



  biodiesel
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                                                                                                          By Holly Jessen



                               Recognizing crossover synergies, New York-based GS CleanTech is tapping the U.S.

                               ethanol industry for corn oil that it plans to route into biodiesel production. It has already

                               got a handful of ethanol producers on board and three biodiesel plants in the works.




46     BIODIESEL MAGAZINE November 2006
                                                                                                                                FEEDSTOCK




       n the renewable fuels business, “blend-

I      ing” is a word used to describe the mix-
       ing of fuels—biodiesel with diesel,
ethanol with gasoline—but as one U.S. com-
pany is demonstrating, it’s not just fuels that
can be blended, but industries themselves.
      Indeed, GS CleanTech Corp. saw the
potential for synergies between the ethanol
and biodiesel industries, and developed
technology to capitalize on it. According to
Kevin Kreisler, chairman and CEO of the
majority-owned publicly traded company,
GS CleanTech offers a commercial pathway
to create additional ethanol plant revenue
through the extraction of a relatively novel
biodiesel production feedstock—corn oil.
      Formerly known as Veridium Corp., GS
CleanTech is the process engineering tech-
nology transfer arm of GreenShift Corp.,
which has its corporate offices in New York.
GreenShift has made a name for itself in the
renewable fuels business by aggressively                          This is the base design for the GS CleanTech Corn Oil Extraction System.
developing clean technologies and support-
ing and companies that facilitate the efficient   company statements, the company aims to              corn fractionation, for example, there are
use of natural resources. The young corpo-        generate $14 million to $18 million in annu-         significantly lower capital costs and no
ration has already acquired about a dozen         al revenue from selling corn oil produced at         design changes needed, Kreisler says. “We
technologies that fit the plan, and one of        U.S. ethanol plants. “Our plans moving for-          can literally plug and play into existing or
those is GS CleanTech’s trademarked Corn          ward are to remain relentlessly focused on           new production with little, if any, upset to
Oil Extraction System. The technology             deploying our integrated multi-fuel technol-         ongoing routine operations,” he says.
removes the fat, or corn oil, from a dry-mill     ogy … in the ethanol production industry,”                GS CleanTech offers ethanol producers
ethanol plant’s “thin stillage”—the precursor     Kreisler tells Biodiesel Magazine.                   a couple of options. An ethanol plant could
to the distillers grains coproduct produced                                                            simply purchase the process technology and
in the ethanol distillation process. This mate-   Practically Pairing                                  equipment outright and sell its oil for going
rial is heated and spun in a centrifuge to pull        Ethanol producers using the system              market prices, or it could opt to have GS
out the corn oil. With nearly all of the oil      could increase their annual revenues by 3.5          CleanTech finance and build a turnkey oil
removed, a more protein-concentrated form         percent, Kreisler says. Currently, DDG is            extraction system on-site in exchange for the
of distillers grains is produced.                 only worth about 3.5 cents per pound,                rights to purchase the plant’s oil at a discount.
      While conventional ethanol production       Kreisler says. The 2 pounds of corn oil that              GS CleanTech plans to sell the corn oil
methods produce about ethanol, 18 pounds          can be extracted from the 18 pounds of               to its sister company, GS AgriFuels, which
of distillers dried grains (DDG) and 18           DDG produced from a bushel of corn can               is in the process of developing three
pounds of carbon dioxide, from one bushel         bring in 12 cents to 17 cents per pound. A           biodiesel plants to process the corn oil.
(approximately 54 pounds) of corn, GS             typical 50 MMgy ethanol plant will be able                This summer, Cornell Capital Partners
CleanTech’s Corn Oil Extraction System            to produce 3 MMgy of corn oil, valued at an          invested about $22 million in GreenShift and
can pull out two pounds of corn oil from          estimated $2.7 million to $3.8 million. The          two of its subsidiaries, GS CleanTech and
that same bushel of feedstock, leaving            ethanol producer would also benefit from             GS AgriFuels, according to Troy Rillo, man-
behind 16 pounds of a higher-protein ani-         the lower operating costs of drying smaller          aging director of Cornell Capital Partners.
mal feed, Kreisler says.                          amounts of distillers grains, in turn lowering       Part of that investment will be used to build
      Here’s the rub. GS CleanTech sets up        plant emissions, Kreisler says.                      one of the biodiesel production facilities
contracts to buy the corn oil from ethanol             The extraction system can be installed          being developed by GS AgriFuels. The com-
plants that use its extraction technology. In     at an ethanol plant with minimal permitting          pany has a “heavy interest” in investing in
turn, the plans to funnel the oil into its own    or infrastructure alterations. Compared with         the renewable energy and clean technology
processing venture. According to recent
                                                                                              November 2006 BIODIESEL MAGAZINE                       47
                                        FEEDSTOCK




                                        An additional pretreatment step was recently added to
                                        the GS CleanTech Corn Oil Extraction System. The
                                        extra step helps to bump up yields for a 50 MMgy
                                        ethanol plant from 1 MMgy to 1.5 MMgy.
                                        processes that GreenShift companies have
                                        to offer, Rillo says. Cornell Capital Partners’
                                        investment in GreenShift allows it to be
                                        involved in the corn-to-ethanol market and
                                        the biodiesel market.
                                             GS AgriFuels’ corn oil-based biodiesel
                                        production facilities will be small-scale
                                        modular plants, with production starting at
                                        5 MMgy to 10 MMgy and later ramping up
                                        to 30 MMgy to 40 MMgy. The plants will
                                        be built in Memphis, Tenn., and within and
                                        around New York.
                                             GS AgriFuels will be the first compa-
                                        ny to use corn oil for biodiesel production
                                        of any magnitude, and it’s committed to
                                        producing a high-quality, consistent prod-
                                        uct that meets the ASTM specification for
                                        biodiesel. Kreisler admits that converting
                                        corn oil to biodiesel comes with certain
                                        process and economic challenges.
                                        However, a considerable amount of
                                        research and development has led company
                                        officials to believe no major obstacle stands
                                        in their way. “We’re already there for corn
                                        oil biodiesel,” Kreisler says.
                                             It’s not enough for the company to
                                        produce biodiesel that just meets the
                                        ASTM D 6751 spec; it wants to exceed the
                                        perimeters. The company is refining some
                                        aspects of the process design that will be
                                        implemented at future GS AgriFuels facili-
                                        ties. These changes may include some
                                        process tweaks and additions, Kreisler says.
                                        Like most other U.S. producers and future
                                        producers, the company maintains as part
                                        of its governing philosophy that producing
                                        the highest quality, most consistent
                                        biodiesel product is critical to market
                                        growth and sustainability.
                                             Efficiency is also important to GS
48   BIODIESEL MAGAZINE November 2006
                           FEEDSTOCK

AgriFuels, and that’s prompted the company
to focus on collocating future biodiesel
plants with ethanol plants. Kreisler envisions
                                                                                                                When Your Mission
a day when a 50 MMgy ethanol plant, with                                                                        Is To Keep The
the GS CleanTech’s proprietary Corn Oil
Extraction System, can produce 3 MMgy of
                                                                                                                Biodiesel Revolution
biodiesel from corn oil produced on-site,                                                                       Moving Forward...
and then sell the biofuel locally. “I just think
                                                                                                                It’s good to know the global
it makes for a more holistic, more efficient,
                                                                                                                leader in biodiesel flow solutions.
more compelling economic model than put-
ting it on a truck, a railcar or barge, and                                                                     With more than 100 years of
transporting it half a country away or half a                                                                   proven expertise and leadership
state away for production … ,” he says.                                                                         in moving vegetable oils,
     In addition to its plans to develop pro-                                                                   detergents, oleo-chemicals and
duction facilities, GS AgriFuels announced                                                                      petrodiesel, Blackmer pumps
in mid-October that it has an agreement in                                                                      are the natural choice for all
place to purchase 100 percent of the stock
                                                                                                                your biodiesel flow applications.
of NextGen Fuel Inc., a company that pro-
duces modular continuous-flow biodiesel                                                                         For production, processing,
process equipment that can handle multiple                                                                      pretreatment, blending, glycerin
feedstocks, according to a press release.                                                                       recovery and transport transfers,
                                                                                                                Blackmer pumps deliver flow
Successful Sign-Up                                                                                              performance and reliability unlike
     After more than a year and a half of                                                                       any other.
work, GS CleanTech’s plan to bring its
patent-pending Corn Oil Extraction System                                                                            ■ Designed for B2 through B100
to the ethanol industry is starting to pay off.                                                                      ■ Superior suction/lift capabilities
The company has signed agreements with                                                                                 for UST applications
seven ethanol plants and one animal pro-                                                                             ■ Highly efficient design, so
cessing facility. In total, these agreements
                                                                                                                       you can save fuel while
represent the capacity to extract 22.5 MMgy
                                                                                                                       making fuel
of biodiesel feedstocks, Kreisler says.
                                                                                                                     ■ Provide low shear, gentle
                                                                                                                       liquid handling
                                                                                                                When it comes to keeping
                                                                                                                the biodiesel revolution moving,
                                                                                                                producers and transporters
                                                                                                                around the world have a
                                                                                                                common demand...

                                                                                                                Better Get Blackmer
                                                                                                                (616) 241-1611
                                                                                                                www.blackmer.com




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                                  Out of the more than 5 billion gallons of
                                  ethanol currently produced in the United
                                   States, 4 billion is from corn dry mills. In
                                   all, there’s about 350 MMgy of corn oil
                                     not currently being recovered from
                                             those dry-mill facilities.
                                        In October, the company announced           for biodiesel production, according to
                                  the installation of the first stage of its        David Winsness, president and COO of
                                  extraction system at Little Sioux Corn            GS CleanTech and a co-inventor of the
                                  Processors LP, a 52 MMgy ethanol plant in         Corn Oil Extraction System. Out of the
                                  Marcus, Iowa. Also, Glacial Lakes Energy          more than 5 billion gallons of ethanol cur-
                                  LLC, a 47 MMgy plant in Watertown, S.D.,          rently produced in the United States, 4 bil-
                                  had a portion of the GS CleanTech system          lion is from corn dry mills. In all, there’s
                                  in place at press time. Three other ethanol       about 350 MMgy of corn oil not currently
                                  facilities, each with capacities in the 40        being recovered from those dry-mill facili-
                                  MMgy to 50 MMgy range, have also signed           ties, Winsness says.
                                  up. Corn Oil Extraction Systems are cur-                The company’s predominant focus is
                                  rently being built for Adkins Energy LLC          on the corn-to-ethanol industry, Kreisler
                                  in Lena, Ill., and Utica Energy LLC in            explains. However, it is open to other
                                  Oshkosh, Wis., while the system for a third       options as well, such as additional animal
                                  ethanol plant, Golden Grain Energy LLC            processing facilities.
                                  in Mason City, Iowa, should be under con-               Another possible target is industrial
                                  struction in the first quarter of 2007. In        wastewater transfer stations and municipal
                                  addition, a producer with an ethanol proj-        sewage treatment facilities. Without any
                                  ect under construction in Illinois has also       development necessary, GS CleanTech
                                  agreed to work with GS CleanTech. The             extraction technology could be used to
                                  confidential contract calls for eight extrac-     extract yellow, brown and black grease at
                                  tion systems to be installed in 2007 and          these facilities, even though they are
                                  2008 for a total of about 12 MMgy of corn         “somewhat nastier from a processing
                                  oil extraction. Additional details about the      standpoint,” Kreisler says.
                                  project were unavailable at press time.                 There are also additional technologies
                                        Corn oil isn’t the only feedstock that      that GS CleanTech wants to bring to mar-
                                  GS CleanTech plans to use at its biodiesel        ket. Gasification of distillers grains to create
                                  production facilities. An Arkansas-based          syngas, is one, Kreisler says. Using about 20
                                  poultry processing facility has executed an       percent to 25 percent of its defatted dis-
                                  agreement with GS CleanTech to use its            tillers grains, a 50 MMgy ethanol plant can
                                  technology to extract 1.5 MMgy of animal          produce enough heat and power on-site to
                                  fat from the sludge coming out of a waste-        take the plant off the power grid. The
                                  water treatment facility, Kreisler says. In the   remaining 75 percent of the syngas from
                                  past, the animal processing facility paid to      DDG can be used to create additional bio-
                                  have the wastewater taken away for a fertil-      mass or biomass-derived synthetic diesel.
                                  izer application. “We can reduce their dis-             For more information, check out GS
                                  posal costs by roughly 80 percent,” he says.      CleanTech’s Web site at www.gs-
                                        GS CleanTech continues to be on the         cleantech.com or GreenShift’s Web site at
                                  lookout for more biodiesel feedstock              www.greenshift.com.
                                  sources, Kreisler says.
                                        There are several possibilities within      Holly Jessen is a Biodiesel Magazine staff
                                                                                    writer.   Reach      her     at    hjessen
                                  the ethanol industry for extracting corn oil
                                                                                    @bbibiofuels.com or (701) 746-8385.
50   BIODIESEL MAGAZINE November 2006

				
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posted:11/8/2007
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