Biofuels are fuels derived from crop plants and food wastes, and include biomass that’s directly burned, biodiesel from plant seed-oil, and ethanol (or methanol) from fermenting grain, grass, straw or wood. Biofuels have more recently become popular as renewable energy sources that are “carbon neutral”, in that they do not add any greenhouse gas into the atmosphere; burning them simply returns to the atmosphere the carbon dioxide that the plants take out when they were grown.
It has long been known that non mineral based oil can be used as an alternative fuel for diesel engines; these oils are typically known as biodiesel. Biodiesel is a renewable fuel commonly produced from oilseed rape, sunflower and soybean oil and usually partially blended with normal diesel fuel. At present you will find biodiesel accounts for only 5% of a blended litre of retail biodiesel whereas higher percentage biodiesel is available (up to 100%) but not recommended for use in standard engines.
Bioethanol (formed from starch), was the original fuel for the Ford model T car. Ethanol burns with a clean, almost invisible flame and can be produced from waste bread, flour and milling wastes and other starch based wastes in a continuous plant. The yeast grown in the process can also be used as a digester feedstock. Placing an ethanol plant close to a biogas plant is mutually beneficial since the biogas plant produces waste heat that is used to support the yeast culture.
PM PROjEN has been instrumental in installing the UK’s first large scale biodiesel plant in Immingham, which went ‘live’ in early 2008. The project was a winner of the European Construction Institute’s ‘Project of the Year’ and consequently PM PROjEN has gone on to secure its reputation in the Biofuel and associated industries through its work in fuel storage and secondary containment. Of particular merit is PM PROjEN’s position as the first company to refurbish an existing fuel terminal and build a new facility which were compliant with the post Buncefield recommendations. With our close relationship with specialist suppliers and technical experience of biofuel plants, we are in an excellent position to advice on projects that can utilise biofuel in their operations.
For over 30 years PM PROjEN has been involved in the design and build of a variety of complex process plants and the PM PROjEN BioEnergy team consists of a number of individuals who have been involved in some of the UK’s most iconic Biofuel and Process Plant installations. The team is headed by Dr Les Gornall – probably the best known and most respected member of the AD/Biogas community. PM PROjEN’s reputation and presence has grown significantly as many realise that PM PROjEN’s design and build experience coupled with its expertise in health, safety and legislation matters make it an ideal partner for Biofuel Storage/Builders. Significantly the company is also technology agnostic – not tied to any particular technology or supplier to ensure the customer gets the best fit solution every time.