The McGyan Biodiesel Process promises to deliver cheap, plentiful and ecological fuel from waste material like animal lard and grease and a variety of natural vegetable oils. The process was developed via a lab in the University of Minnesota and the team are just about to build a 3 million gallon a year demo facility in the same state. No details as yet on the cost benefits, but the ecological ones look good.
The process performs a catalytic conversion of triglycerides and free fatty acids into fatty acid methyl esters (FAMES); in other words into biodiesel. In addition to the environmental advantages of producing a biofuel that replaces conventional fossil fuels (fossil fuels have detrimental effects on the environment since they release sequestered carbon compounds and other pollutants into the atmosphere, whereas bio-based fuels such as biodiesel are more environmentally friendly since their use recycles carbon through renewable biomass and because they burn cleaner than petroleum fuels), this new process offers several advantages over current biodiesel production methods.