Louisiana Patent of the Month – June 2022

Biodiesel offers a source of renewable, biodegradable fuel manufactured from vegetable oils, animal fats, or even recycled restaurant grease. This type of fuel offers a more sustainable approach to fuel as well as a potential second life for the products it’s made from. Biodiesel combustion results in fewer air pollutants, and the constituent components are nontoxic and biodegradable. The fuel ultimately offers a cleaner option over petroleum based diesels.

Louisiana Eco Green, LLC has developed a new method of production for biodiesel which removes the need for supplemental catalysts. This process results in a biodiesel yield with less than 15 parts per million of sulfur, essentially no water, and meets – or exceeds – industry fuel specification ASTM D6751-12 which defines biodiesel as mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oils and animal fats.

Their method uses a super-critical alcohol such as methanol to react with glycerides and free fatty acids in a refined feed stock. The use of a super-critical alcohol allows the reaction to be performed without any supplemental catalyst. Traditional production processes use catalysts including strong acids like sulfuric acid. The acid then needs to be neutralized with a strong base and then rinsed to remove any resultant salts.

With Louisiana Eco Green’s simplified process, the refined feedstock and alcohol are emulsified together and forced through a reactor. This reactor optimally utilizes heat, reducing the energy needs of the system and ensures the alcohol, glycerides, and fatty acids are thoroughly mixed with a minimal amount of alcohol. Their novel production method requires fewer steps, fewer ingredients, and yields higher quality biodiesel with greater efficiency. Advancements such as these only serve to bring biodiesel and other sustainable solutions to the forefront of the market. 

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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