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El Paso, Texas, USA

Global Alternative Fuels, LLC – Biodiesel Production Facility in El Paso, Texas

Status: Completed Construction

Background

On-road vehicles have been identified as the number one source of diesel-related emission pollution. According to a report prepared by the Inter-American Development Bank, the international transportation sector was one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in 2001, producing 20% of the total profile, while in the U.S. and developed
nations (i.e. Japan, European Union), carbon dioxide emissions from the transportation sector has grown the fastest at nearly 30% in the past six years.

In July 2007, the EPA Office of International Affairs completed a report entitled, Strategy and Recommendations for U.S.-Mexico Border Diesel Emissions Reductions, which analyzed and prioritized a wide range of proposals and project activities aimed at reducing diesel-related emissions in the most highly impacted border communities. One of the priority projects proposed in the report was to promote the production and use of biodiesel. The goal is to reduce the consumption of petroleum-based vehicle fuels by replacing them with cleaner biofuels.

Biodiesel is a clean burning alternative fuel produced from renewable resources, typically plant oils (soy, palm, rapeseed), yellow grease (waste cooking oils), and tallow (animal fats). It contains no petroleum, but it can be blended at any level with petroleum diesel to create a biodiesel blend. Biodiesel is biodegradable, nontoxic, and essentially free of sulfur
and aromatics. The U.S. Department of Energy conducted a study which showed that the production and use of biodiesel compared to petrodiesel resulted in a 78.5% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

Fuel-grade biodiesel must be produced to strict industry specifications established by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

Biodiesel that meets ASTM D6751 and is legally registered with EPA is a legal motor fuel for sale and distribution in its pure form (B100) or as a blended biodiesel product.

Description

The project consists of building a biodiesel production facility in two phases, with an initial output of 5 million gallons a year in the first phase. The second phase will expand the facilities an additional 20 million gallons per year, for a total capacity of 25 million gallons.

The primary feedstock will be yellow grease and tallow; although a broad range of feedstocks can be utilized by the technology being employed at the facility. Moreover, since the system is waterless, there are no wastewater pre-treatment requirements and no waste effluent from the biodiesel processor.

The biodiesel will be sold to a local petroleum refiner as a biodiesel product that will be blended with petroleum diesel by the customer, as well as possibly to a renewable power generation company as a fuel source. Also, glycerin, the main byproduct of the biodiesel process, will be sold for use in animal feeds and other viable options.

Benefits

The biodiesel produced by this project will help reduce emissions and improve air quality in the El Paso-Las Cruces-Ciudad Juarez region, an area identified as “non-attainment” for particulate matter and near “nonattainment” for ozone. Moreover, using yellow grease and animal fats in the production process promotes a form of sustainable recycling and will
reduce the potential for surface water contamination and clogged wastewater lines and treatment processes. In addition, the project will help meet the blending levels mandated for biofuels under U.S. legislation.

Project Financing

Total Project Cost US 7.68M
NADB Funding US 3.69M - NADB Loan
US M - NADB Grant: BEIF
US M - NADB Grant: CAP
US M - NADB Grant: SWEP
US M - NADB Grant: WCIF