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  • Tom Slunecka

Plasma Blue: Lower Carbon Score, Higher Savings

Updated: Jun 15, 2023



Now more than ever, the biofuels industry seeks a solution that balances fiscal and environmental conservation. Look no further.


Plasma Blue is a revolutionary technology that creates biodiesel at a dramatically lower production cost while easily integrating into current renewable fuel facilities, including both existing plants and new greenfield projects. This combination is almost assured to drive profitability to higher levels, while giving you flexibility in your operation.


Rather than time-consuming traditional bioreactors, which use natural gas and mixing, our Plasma Blue technology applies electricity that excites the molecules as they pass through the reactor. In turn, this causes an improved intimate contact between the molecules. This technology drives the reaction faster than any other form of transesterification. In doing so, it delivers a more complete conversion and decreases bottleneck issues during this stage. Using Plasma Blue technology as a means for performing transesterification offers dramatic advantages, including a potential 10-cent-per-gallon savings to your plant due to lower energy and catalyst costs.


Beyond the operational savings, Plasma Blue technology is also environmentally friendly.


With changes to California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard in 2024 coming from the Air Resources Board, reducing your carbon score is imperative. And by using electricity instead of natural gas, Plasma Blue requires significantly less energy because it doesn’t require preheating and creates flexibility in operations. Imagine the possibilities—biofuel plants lowering energy costs while enhancing facility carbon-intensity (CI) scores, allowing plants to take advantage of government incentives for clean, renewable energy. For example, an additional 35 cents per gallon may be attributed to the per-gallon value of your plant based on a reduced carbon score.


Plasma Blue technology can be powered through wind or solar energy because our power requirement is amazingly low. Our 1.5-million-gallon-per-year (mgy) reactor only requires the equivalent of electricity used to run two 60-watt light bulbs. This technology can use renewable farm-grown oil, and by adding ethanol (another farm-grown renewable) instead of methanol and renewable energy such as solar electricity to power the process, the ultimate renewable liquid fuel is created. This is the true trifecta of liquid renewable fuels. On top of this perfect blend of renewables, Plasma Blue uses a less-intensive catalyst that is significantly more affordable than traditional ones. This may also further improve your facility’s carbon score and dramatically reduce production costs.


But often, production facilities are afraid of new technologies because they can be unproven, expensive to install and difficult to operate. This transformative technology, however, is none of these. Don’t let the fear of expensive downtimes or expansion needs stop you from integrating Plasma Blue in your facility.


When compared to installing traditional transesterification equipment, a Plasma Blue reactor will save you an estimated $1.5 million when installed in a 10 mgy plant. The unit has a very small physical footprint and modular design. This allows existing plants to increase production without expensive downtime or expansion of plant footprints. Furthermore, our technology easily fits into almost all existing plants without exterior expansion.


But actions speak louder than words.


Through years of rigorous testing, this design, which has received a certificate of analysis, has been scaled from a simple benchtop design to our current 5 mgy capacity unit. Scaling the technology is easy and, no matter the plant size you’re interested in, the plasma unit can be custom built for you.


Plants that have operated our technology have received consistent ASTM-spec biodiesel, and because of the plasma unit’s ability to complete reactions, the products have achieved much higher specs, including cold flow properties, equal to far more expensive distilled biodiesel.


As an additional advantage, plants outfitted with a pretreatment plasma reactor will be able to purchase far less expensive oils containing high levels of free fatty acids (FFA). Most plants benefit from the ability to purchase less-refined soybean oil and take advantage of the other benefits of this technology. This is because the plasma reaction works equally well for acid esterification as it does for transesterification.


To accomplish this effectively, we have developed a self-contained mobile testing unit. This unit will allow plants to see the technology firsthand in the comfort of their own facility. The mobile testing unit exists in an enclosed trailer, allowing multiple feedstock product samples to be run on site and tested in the plant’s laboratory for comparison.


The future of biodiesel is here, and it’s time to invest in today’s technology. Our confidence is high that Plasma Blue technology expands possibilities and will be a game changer for the biofuels industry. In an ever-changing industry where each penny matters, this technology will help your facility increase profitability through growth and cost reduction.


Author: Tom Slunecka

CEO, Plasma Blue

507-720-4052

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