Friday, October 10, 2008

Ever Cat Bio-Diesel Follow-up

Back on August 25th, Brian Wang put up a post about Ever Cat Fuels' bio-diesel process. On Aug 26th, I posted on the same topic making mention of my having written Mr. Dave Wendorf, the company's spokesman, regarding a particular application for their product.

Mr. Wendorf has been heard from:

Will, thanks for your interest in our process. I apologize for taking so long to get back to you.

Our reactors can be scaled very easily. We have potential clients who are planning 20- 30 MGY plants using our process. One reactor is capable of producing 2.2 MGY.

As for marketing the reactors, a company/individual will have to sign a IP licensing agreement and a supply agreement to purchase the reactors. I don't have a cost estimate yet for the reactors. I will have costing information after we bring our 3MGY demonstration plant online early next year.

Needless to say, we are very excited about our new Mcgyan biodiesel technology. We will continue to update our website with the latest developments and information.


Now, to be perfectly honest, I was thinking more along the lines of several thousand gallons per year which is an order of magnitude smaller than even the 2.2 Mgy unit Dave mentioned. Re-reading my original e-mail, I failed to make that specific a request so it remains to be seen just how well this process will scale to the individual user level of application (my primary interest). That said, if one reactor of the current design has a maximum production of 2.2 Mgy then "short" production runs would seem to be technologically possible depending on the cost of running the reactor at less than optimum levels.

My primary interest is in a mechanism whereby an individual can achieve energy self-sufficiency at some reasonably market competitive cost (the variable being the "value" of the individuals time expended to operate the process/mechanism). A farmer, rancher, hunting/fishing lodge or any private party or individual should be able to produce a quantity of fuel sufficient to power his/her situation independent of any commercial supplier. The Ever Cat Fuels process seems to permit both purpose-grown source material like algae as well as waste materials for feedstocks. What isn't clear is what precisely qualifies as a feedstock, raw sewage (human or livestock), dead carcasses, grass clippings, limbs, wood chips? Bio-mass is a rather broad category, after all.

If I've done the arithmetic correctly, a system such as I desire would require about 8 to 10 tons of feedstock to produce 250 to 300 gallons of fuel per "batch". This seems a useful quantity for most personal applications and could be stored in 5 or 6 standard 50 gallon drums with little to no other specialized equipment needed (some form of awning or shed might prove useful though). This would allow an average fuel usage of about 65 gallons per week over the course of a year.

My thought is that several simple greenhouses, each covering a 3 foot deep pond 15 feet wide by 80 feet long, ought to provide year-round algae for feedstock. Frankly, I don't know how much algae such a construct could produce in 4 to 5 weeks time. While water doesn't appear to be a problem for the Mcgyan process, is the feedstock weight a dry weight or straight out of the pond?

Finally (for now at least), what does an IP licensing agreement and supply agreement entail, precisely? Since my envisaged user isn't structured as a commercial fuel vendor, does all of that necessarily apply? What are the technical qualifications necessary for an individual to safely operate a Mcgyan reactor?

There are questions as yet to be answered as you can see. Not least of which, Will Dave run screaming for the hills? :)

Stay tuned ...

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