Business

Big Island Biodiesel Improving Fuel Quality

June 5, 2013, 9:43 AM HST
* Updated June 6, 12:54 PM
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Recent tests show that an east Hawaii biodiesel facility is producing high quality fuel that exceeds industry levels, officials with the company said.

The improvement comes after Big Island Biodiesel installed new equipment last fall.

Big Island Biodiesel was able to install a high-vacuum distillation unit at its facility in Keaau last year through a partnership with Hawaii Renewable Energy Development Venture.

The company said in a press release that the new equipment is able to recycle even the most highly degraded waste oils and turn them into premium quality biodiesel.

The biodiesel that is produced is an extremely pure fuel, the company said.

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According to Bob King, president of Pacific Biodiesel Technologies, which developed Big Island Biodiesel, the results from laboratory tests for the biodiesel fuel “have been astounding.”

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The results were from tests conducted last month for biodiesel produced from a mixture of used cooking oil and grease trap oil. By producing fuel from the oils, the company is able to divert tons of waste oil from Hawaii Island landfills every year.

King also noted that the quality of fuel being produced at the facility in the Shipman Business Park exceeds all the biodiesel test component requirements of the American Society of Testing & Materials.

“This project is an excellent example of what we’re all about: helping build great companies around innovative energy technologies,” said Dawn Lippert, senior manager of Pacific International Center for High Technology Research Energy Programs, which oversees the Hawaii Renewable Energy Development Venture.

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The refinery, which has a capacity of 5.5 million gallons per year, employs more than 20 people on the island.

Fuel from the facility is sold to fuel distributors and large fleet operators and is also available at the Hawaii Fueling Network station in Shipman Business Park.

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