Engineering News

VeraSun Announces Innovative Process for Biodiesel Production
Friday November 3, 8:30 am ET

Plans to Produce Biodiesel with Oil Extracted from Ethanol Production Process

  • VeraSun will produce two renewable fuels -- ethanol and biodiesel -- from one feedstock
  • Company diversifies business into second renewable fuel, continuing to develop environmentally-friendly biofuels through efficient large- scale, low-cost production
  • VeraSun is positioned to become one of the lowest-cost producers of high-quality biodiesel

BROOKINGS, S.D., Nov. 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- VeraSun Energy Corporation, the nation's second-largest ethanol producer, today announced plans to produce biodiesel, a clean-burning renewable fuel, from oil extracted from distillers grains, a co-product of the ethanol production process. VeraSun would be the first company to develop a large-scale, commercial facility for biodiesel production from a co-product of the ethanol production process, creating two biofuels from the same feedstock.

VeraSun identified an opportunity to utilize oil extracted from distillers grains, undervalued as a feed component, as an excellent feedstock for biodiesel. Removing the oil from distillers grains both increases the value of the oil for fuel use, and enhances the resulting distillers grains as a livestock feed by concentrating protein and reducing fat content.

"This opportunity is a natural extension to our business and consistent with our objective to be a leader in the production of renewable fuels," said Don Endres, Chairman and CEO of VeraSun. "This technology is particularly strategic to VeraSun because it allows us to extend our large and low-cost producer strategy from ethanol to include biodiesel."

VeraSun is currently evaluating locations for a 30-million-gallon-per-year biodiesel production facility, with plans to commence construction in 2007 and begin production in 2008. The Company has contracted with Lurgi PSI, Inc. for design and engineering services for the biodiesel facility and with Crown Iron Works Company for oil extraction equipment. As a result of the exclusivity provisions in these contracts, VeraSun expects to be the first to develop large-scale facilities using this technology. The Company has also filed a provisional patent application with the U.S. Patent Office for the production process.

Biodiesel can be blended with petroleum diesel to run in all existing diesel engines. According to the National Biodiesel Board, production grew to 150 million gallons in 2006 from 75 million gallons in 2005. The Energy Information Administration projects biodiesel demand will increase to more than one billion gallons by 2010 and double to two billion gallons by 2020.

"We have been conducting research and development in the biodiesel area for years, testing and evaluating various technologies," said Matt Janes, Vice President of Technology at VeraSun. "We're confident this process will allow for large-scale, low-cost, and high-quality biodiesel production."

"Creating another renewable fuel from an existing co-product of the ethanol production process makes good economic, business and environmental sense," added Endres, "We are adding to the renewable fuel supply, enhancing the content of a valuable animal feed, and creating additional value for our shareholders."

About VeraSun Energy Corporation

VeraSun Energy Corporation, committed to becoming America's source for renewable fuels, is the second-largest ethanol producer in the U.S. based on production. The company has two operating production facilities located in Aurora, South Dakota, and Fort Dodge, Iowa, is constructing a third facility in Charles City, Iowa, and has two additional facilities under development in Welcome, Minnesota, and Hartley, Iowa. Upon completion of the new facilities, VeraSun will have an annual production capacity of approximately 560 million gallons of ethanol per year.

Source: VeraSun Energy Corporation

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