Research

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Biodiesel technology is sort of like the wild west. Lots of claims and stories come back from the frontier of an industry that is not yet mature.

For Piedmont Biofuels R&D is the continual improvement of all processes related to biodiesel production. This includes, but is not limited to, developing new catalysts for esterification and transesterification, working with low quality and alternative feedstocks, improving and simplifying quality control testing, developing methods and systems for sidestream management, reducing waste and improving the efficiency of the production process.

Our R&D arm harnesses the extensive experience of Piedmont Biofuels staff in an effort to prove innovative ideas relating to biodiesel production, testing, and distribution.  Our particular interest is to develop technologies which make small scale production better, faster, and cheaper.

Because we require testing and R&D on-site, we have the experience, and staff, and equipment to not only test and develop our own process, but also to work with others interested in testing their products and ideas. Successful ideas are implemented in our plant and plants that we build. That’s why we can go from idea to implementation faster than anybody else.

Vendors seeking to enter the biodiesel industry often tap us for our experience and expertise. As a result, we have a wide range of contacts with venders and industry partners to pull from.

Industry and University Partnerships

As an experienced biodiesel producer, we are well positioned to act as industry partners on grant funded research, and we’ve been awarded a large number of grants ourselves. We have staff with experience in policy, distribution and marketing, testing, production, research, and most importantly in how to get things done. Because we are always involved in education and outreach, we are well known and well respected in the biofuels grant writing community. We regularly publish our research efforts in fuel and energy related academic journals.  If you are interested in partnering with us for existing research or if you would like to co-develop a project from the proposal stage, call Rachel at 919-444-3495 or email her at rachel@biofuels.coop.

Product Testing and Development

Piedmont Biofuels has years of experience testing new ideas as they pass into the world of biodiesel. We have built dozens of reactors from scratch, and we built our current 1,000,000 gallon/year facility ourselves. That sometimes makes us look like idiots, and sometimes makes us look like geniuses. We might be able to help you figure out which category you fall into faster.

Because many people enter the world of biodiesel without a full understanding, it’s critically important to fully evaluate your idea or product before spending the money on design, pilot plants, marketing and branding. We are capable of consulting to assure you have a valuable product, and if so we’re also ready to help design and scale your product to the needs of the market.

That’s a fancy way of saying that we can save you a lot of money if you are entering the biodiesel industry. For every hundred dollars you blow on us, we will save you thousands on bad ideas. That’s guaranteed.

Consulting

If you’re thinking about starting a biodiesel plant, investing in the business of biodiesel, or using biodiesel in your fleet, Piedmont Biofuels can save you time and money from the start by cluing you in to what you can expect to see one month, six months, and one year down the road. Investing in our knowledge first makes for more well planned, faster, and ultimately more effective decisions later.

If you want to consult about the biodiesel business, give us a call at 919-321-8260 or email lyle@biofuels.coop. If you want to consult about the science of biodiesel production, or have a new idea you would like to bring to market, email Rachel Burton rachel@biofuels.coop  or call her at 919-444-3495 for more info.

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