New renewable fuels facility helps Edmonton provide environmental leadership

July 6, 2015 - Edmonton, AB

A new pilot plant for drop-in renewable diesel and jet biofuels will help Edmonton reach its goal of becoming a national leader in environmental preservation and sustainability.

SBI BioEnergy Inc. hosted a ground-breaking ceremony for its new multi-million dollar pilot facility in the Edmonton Research Park today. The pilot plant, which will be able to produce up to 10 million litres of biofuel a year, is expected to begin operations in 2016 with a look towards eventually developing a full-scale commercial plant.

“This is a critical next step for SBI,” says Founding President & CEO Inder Singh. “The pilot plant will demonstrate the technology and attract the strategic partners SBI needs to successfully transition to full-scale production. The company’s goal: production of up to 240 million litres a year by 2018.”

SBI’s pilot plant will produce ‘drop-in fuels,’ which are chemically indistinguishable from and perform similarly to petroleum fuels. They represent the next generation of renewable biofuels that may eventually replace biodiesel and ethanol. Renewable diesel can achieve higher greenhouse gas savings compared to biodiesel since higher concentrations can be blended into regular fuel. Petro-refineries in Canada prefer to buy renewable diesel over biodiesel since it does not need to be blended and is fully compatible with existing infrastructure, distribution systems and engines.

SBI’s refining process uses a novel catalytic technology that creates no waste and does not require an external hydrogen source, water, chemicals or expensive hydrogen safety procedures. SBI’s ‘Process Intensification and Continuous Flow-Through Reaction’ converts fat, oil or grease into renewable gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. It is the only technology known that can convert biodiesel into renewable diesel.
Since SBI’s process does not require purchasing hydrogen, the capital cost of its refinery is approximately one-third of a typical refinery. The operating cost is also considerably lower than competing technologies. The feedstock for SBI’s biofuels is from tall oil (a by-product of the pulp and paper industry), fats or vegetable oils, which are also low-cost and sustainable.

“We’re pleased to have financially supported development of SBI’s new renewable fuel pilot plant,” says Steve Price, CEO of Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions. “Its facility strengthens Alberta’s expanding industrial bioproduct sector and gives Alberta farmers a new market for off-grade canola.”
In addition to helping create new jobs and diversify the economy in Edmonton, SBI BioEnergy’s technology also complements the city’s The Way We Green: Environmental Strategic Plan and Energy Transition Strategy.

The Way We Green

Energy Transition Strategy

“SBI BioEnergy Inc. is a welcome addition to the Edmonton Research Park,” says Mayor Don Iveson. “Innovators in Edmonton are pioneering greener, cleaner and cheaper ways of doing business while diversifying the economy."
Looking forward, SBI plans to build a biofuels refinery in Alberta capable of producing up to 240 million litres a year.

“Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures congratulates SBI on today’s monumental ground-breaking,” says Bill Teeple, Executive Director of Business Innovations Services. “We look forward to working with Inder Singh as his company continues moving along the innovation curve towards full commercialization. Companies like SBI are helping diversify Alberta’s economy through innovation and entrepreneurism.” 

For more information, visit sbibioenergy.com 

Media contact:

Scott Lundy
Communications Business Partner
Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures
iPhone: 780-246-3222
Email: scott.lundy@albertainnovates.ca