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There is a new kid on Maine’s biofuels production block and it is using a different technology to make biofuel from organic wastes.
According to its website, Coastal Energy Biofuel is the first commercial Enzymatic Transesterification Processing facility in North America. This means that they use enzymes instead of chemicals to create their biofuel. This leads to a cleaner bi-product, minimal to no wastewater or chemical discharge and low energy requirement to produce liquid biofuels.
An enzyme is a protein consisting of a folded strand of amino acids. In nature, enzymes are responsible for all the biochemical reactions within living organisms, including breakdown of food and tissue generation.
The enzymatic technology enables biofuel producers to produce high quality biofuel from oils with any concentration of FFA (Free Fatty Acids) from 0-100% and it remains efficient in a moisture-rich environment.
In addition, the enzyme catalyst is highly specific, thus enzymatic transesterification produces no unwanted side products like polymers and oxidation compounds, though these might enter the process as part of the low quality feed.
The main story here is that Maine’s biofuels production industry is growing and diversifying. This means more secure, domestic power for Mainers and that is good news for us all.
Coastal Energy is based in Trenton, with 2 other locations. If you are curious to learn more, you can search them out for yourself.
Image courtesy of Coastal Energy Biofuels.