CORDIS - EU research results

Improving the productivity of Biodiesel plants through their adaptation for the production of polyols

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - B-Ecolyol (Improving the productivity of Biodiesel plants through their adaptation for the production of polyols)

Reporting period: 2016-02-01 to 2016-05-31

Biodiesel production plants are subject to periods of involuntary inactivity due to market fluctuations in the pricing of raw materials and/or increasing competition from imports which lower biodiesel selling prices and consequently make production unprofitable.
Our experience in the bio-refinery sector and in the development of engineering processes for the valorization of used oil enabled us to see that used oil and biodiesel could also be used as raw materials for the manufacturing of other products within our plants, and in this way avoid inactivity periods
B-Ecolyol aims to increase the productivity of biodiesel plants through their adapting for the production of polyols using used oil and biodiesel as raw materials. Our innovative process will enable to obtain sustainable polyols (with a 98% bio-based content) using mild operating conditions, and thus reducing global warming emissions and energy consumption by 36% and 61%, respectively compared to petroleum derived polyols
In order to confirm the feasibility of our project we have carried out a 4-month study consisting on:
- Technical Plan: characterization tests of our products show that they are appropriate to use as raw material for coating, adhesives, sealants and elastomers (CASE applications) manufacture. And the analysis to adapt the biodiesel plant to produce bio-polyols as well, is favourable.
- Analysis of the subsequent stages of the supply chain for the production of coatings shows that because of technical reasons, it is not possible carried out. However, we have stablished relationships with stakeholders (CETEM) to validate and give support to commercialize our technology in this sector.
- Commercial Plan and exploitation strategy: thorough market analysis performed has identified our target markets (wood coating and adhesives & sealants), which present great potential. Commercial strategy has been defined introducing our technology in Europe for those markets as providers of bio-based polyols and offering engineering services and technology to biodiesel producers as well. We will penetrate in the market in three stages: 1) national market (Spain), 2) Germany (the largest producer of these sectors), 3) France, Italy and UK.
- Financial feasibility study: this demonstrated the economic feasibility of our project, confirming estimated prices of products (2.8€/kg) and services (240,000€/kg), taking into account operational costs and profit margins.
- Development of complete Execution Plan for the Phase 2 project, including planning, organization, risk analysis and budget.
We expect to deploy the B-Ecolyol technology in the European market, introducing a new processing method for the production of bio-polyols (98% bio-based content) from used oil or biodiesel at a competitive price (2.8€/kg) which will reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing of this kind of products (36% less global warming emissions and 61% less non-renewable energy than not-bio-based polyols). And it will enable biodiesel producers to use their plants for a different application in low productivity periods, thus increasing their revenues and competitiveness.
It will also enable our company to grow, both financially- achieving revenues of approx. €17.61 million and profits of €4.04 million in 2023- and in personnel- we will hire 9 more people.