Tyson Foods, Syntroleum joint venture opens advanced biofuels plant in Louisiana

RP news wires

Operations are underway at the new Dynamic Fuels plant, which is successfully converting animal fats and greases into high-quality renewable fuels, officials from Syntroleum Corporation and Tyson Foods Inc. announced on November 8. Production at the Geismar, La., plant began in early October and the volume currently being produced is 2,500 barrels per day and growing.

Dynamic Fuels LLC is a 50/50 joint venture of Syntroleum and Tyson. Unlike the ethanol and biodiesel industries, which use food ingredients such as corn and soybean oil to produce fuel, Dynamic Fuels uses non-food-grade animal fats and greases.

“We’re very pleased with the progress at the plant and the quality of the fuel it’s producing,” said Jeff Webster, group vice president of Tyson’s Renewable Products Division. “This fuel offers the same benefits of synthetic fuels derived from coal or natural gas, including substantial performance and environmental advantages over petroleum-based fuels.”

To date, the Geismar plant has manufactured renewable diesel with a cloud point as low as minus-26 degrees Fahrenheit and cetane as high as 88, more than twice that of the ASTM petroleum diesel specification. The facility’s renewable diesel fuel product meets all ASTM D975 specifications for diesel fuel.

Gary Roth, chief executive officer of Syntroleum, said, “Our U.S. plant is producing some of the highest quality diesel fuel in the world, and best of all, it is renewable with a carbon footprint 75 percent below that of petroleum diesel. We can also make renewable, high value specialty distillate products that can be used in a wide variety of applications such as dry cleaning, ink cartridges and drilling fluids, and we are actively pursuing these markets.”

The first shipments of fuel started leaving the Geismar plant in October. “There’s been tremendous interest in our fuels and so far our customers include a range of fuel distributors and end users, including the U.S. military,” said Bob Ames, vice president of renewable energy for Tyson Foods.

Dynamic Fuels has been making jet fuel for testing by the Air Force Research Laboratory. This is the first renewable jet fuel to be tested by the Air Force that has been produced in a domestic commercial scale facility. “We look forward to working with the Air Force in its fuel certification program,” said Ames.

Tyson and Syntroleum officials remain hopeful Congress will restore the $1 per gallon renewable diesel tax credit that expired in December 2009. Fuel from the Geismar plant qualifies for the credit, which would help the economic feasibility of the operation and help recover development costs.

“More consistent and timely action by Congress on this and other biofuels tax credits is needed to provide stability and encourage the growth of the advanced biofuels industry, which is poised to help reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil,” said Webster.

The new facility uses Syntroleum’s Bio-Synfining Technology to produce the renewable fuels from non-food grade animal fats produced or procured by Tyson Foods, such as beef tallow, pork lard, chicken fat and greases. The plant is designed to produce up to 75 million gallons of renewable fuels per year. The operation currently has 44 permanent full-time positions on site and maintains 13 full-time start-up support personnel.

To see video of operations at Dynamic Fuels, click on the following link:    

Photos of the facility can be seen by clicking:

About Syntroleum
Syntroleum Corporation owns the Syntroleum Process for Fischer-Tropsch (FT) conversion of synthesis gas derived from biomass, coal, natural gas and other carbon-based feedstocks into liquid hydrocarbons, the Synfining Process for upgrading FT liquid hydrocarbons into middle distillate products such as synthetic diesel and jet fuels, and the Bio-Synfining technology for converting animal fat and vegetable oil feedstocks into middle distillate products such as renewable diesel and jet fuel using inedible fats and greases as feedstock. The 50/50 venture – known as Dynamic Fuels – was formed to construct and operate multiple renewable synthetic fuels facilities, with production on the first site beginning in 2010. The company plans to use its portfolio of technologies to develop and participate in synthetic and renewable fuel projects.

About Tyson Foods
Tyson Foods Inc., founded in 1935 with headquarters in Springdale, Ark., is one of the world's largest processors and marketers of chicken, beef and pork, the second-largest food production company in the Fortune 500 and a member of the S&P 500. The company produces a wide variety of protein-based and prepared food products and is the recognized market leader in the retail and foodservice markets it serves. Tyson provides products and services to customers throughout the United States and more than 90 countries. The company has approximately 115,000 team members employed at more than 400 facilities and offices in the United States and around the world.

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