Piedmont Biofuels used to build small scale biodiesel plants. We have literally designed, built, and shipped dozens of plants for our customers. Most of our customers already had their own sources of feedstock. One was a food processor in Virginia. Another was a group of canola growers in New Hampshire. We built one for a palm oil plantation in the Dominican Republic.
The last one we commissioned was for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture on the campus of the Biofuels Center of North Carolina. They control all of the cooking oil that comes from the State Fair.
Along the way we invented a cavitational reactor system, and we sold a half dozen of them. And we did some custom engineering on a degumming plant.
We also invented enzymatic catalysis for biodiesel in conjunction with our partners at Novozymes. Rachel is working to commercialize that technology for the biodiesel industry.
Most of our design-build days are behind us at this point. We don’t think we made any money doing it. And a lot of the geniuses behind our design-build efforts have moved on. People fall in love. People get married. People move away.
If you think of Piedmont Biofuels as a technology provider, that’s because we have been one. And these days we still do a fair bit of consulting in this area. We are able to help people get plants commissioned, and some of our guys are still fabricating for the biodiesel industry, so we are still happy to help you, we are just less likely to design and build the technology ourselves.