US Energy Companies Push Biodiesel as an Alternative Energy Source

In recent years, more U.S. energy companies have increased the development of biodiesel based fuels. As increasing data continues to show that fossil fuels may have already reached a tipping point, alternative fuel sources are required and are being explored in various stages by U.S. companies.

Biodiesel is the term used to refer to an animal fat or vegetable based diesel fuel which consists of “long chain” alkyl esters such as propyl, methyl or ethyl. Biodiesel is the result of a chemical reaction between the alkyl esters and an alcohol base which produces fat rich acid esters.

Biodiesel is designed for use as a standard fuel for diesel engines. It can also be used as an heating oil source of energy. Currently, the primary end user for biodiesel fuels is the U.S. military and various manufacturers of motor vehicles. However, U.S. companies are seeking to expand the consumer base with wider production of various biodiesel products.

In the area of “waste vegetable oil” or (“WVO”, companies such as Arizona Biodiesel is making B99 biodisel from restaurant waste grease. The U.S. Company Amereco Biofuels Corp. is leading the industry in soy based diesel fuels made from recycled ingredients. Its current production plant can produce fifteen million gallons of soy based diesel fuel a year.

In the area of algae and jetropha, companies such as “Biofeedstocks Global LLC,” plans various nursery operations for the planting of jetropha in the U.S. State of Arizona. It also is studying additional opportunities with algae. “Algae Biosciences,” is producing an algae based fuel in contaminant free saltwater supplied aquifers, also located in Arizona.

Other companies are still making advancement in the research and development stage. Diversified Energy Corporation works to further development of various alternative and easily renewable bio energy technologies, including new biofuel conversion processes, which modifies renewable bio based oils and produces fuels that can used in various vehicles which are virtually identical to fossil based petroleum fuels. Other companies like Cunningham Energy are investing in the development of new technologies to make the energy production process more efficient overall. PetroSun started off as a traditional oil company but converted to finding more efficient uses of microbes in the cleanup process and more efficient oil recovery methods used today. The research led it to finding different ways to convert algae and bacteria into various fuel sources. The company plans to continue its development of more efficient fossil fuels on is algae farms located in Arizona and New Mexico.