December 20, 2014

Biodiesel plant in SE Nebraska to be first in US using new technology

Crews from Flint Hills Resources are retrofitting the former Beatrice Biodiesel Plant so it’ll be the first of its kind in the country to use a new process to make fuel.

Flint Hills spokesman Jake Reint says the new technology will allow the use of feed stocks like animal tallow, unrefined oil, used vegetable oil and distiller’s oil, to produce biodiesel.

“It’s really exciting,” Reint says. “This is the first commercial-scale use of this technology so we’re excited to be able to use the Beatrice plant that we acquired back in 2011 to bring this technology to life.”

Reint says work is underway now to renovate the facility and it will pick up over the next few months.

“This new technology will allow more flexibility in terms of potential feed stocks,” Reint says. “In terms of how that will work within the local economy, we would get a lot of those feed stocks from ethanol plants and farms from the area.”

He says using the feed stocks lowers costs and improves profit margins, plus, it opens markets for producers.

When operations begin in the summer of 2015, the plant is expected to produce about 50-million gallons of biodiesel per year, employing about 45 people.

By Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice