Environmental Sustainability from Products
The EPA has published in depth studies that show vehicles emissions are reduced by up to 74% by using biodiesel compared to petroleum based diesel fuel.
Producing 1,3-Propanediol from glycerol byproduct of biodiesel production instead of using fossil fuel derivatives overseas offers several sustainability benefits:
- Renewable Feedstock: Glycerol is a byproduct of biodiesel production, which is derived from renewable sources such as vegetable oils or animal fats. By utilizing glycerol as a feedstock for 1,3-Propanediol production, we reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and promote the use of renewable resources. This reduces carbon emissions and mitigates the environmental impact associated with fossil fuel extraction and processing.
- Waste Valorization: Biodiesel production generates a significant amount of glycerol as a byproduct. By utilizing this glycerol for 1,3-Propanediol production, we transform a waste stream into a valuable and useful product. This practice promotes waste valorization and reduces the environmental burden of managing and disposing of glycerol waste.
- Reduced Carbon Footprint: 1,3-Propanediol produced from glycerol has a lower carbon footprint compared to its production from fossil fuel derivatives. Glycerol is a carbon-neutral feedstock derived from renewable sources, whereas fossil fuel derivatives are derived from non-renewable fossil fuels. By using glycerol, we avoid the extraction, refining, and transportation processes associated with fossil fuels, resulting in reduced greenhouse gas emissions and overall carbon footprint.
- Energy Efficiency: The production of 1,3-Propanediol from glycerol can be more energy-efficient compared to its production from fossil fuel derivatives. Glycerol is a relatively high-energy molecule that requires less energy-intensive processing compared to fossil fuel derivatives. By utilizing glycerol, we can potentially reduce energy consumption during the production process, leading to lower overall energy requirements and associated environmental impacts.
- Local Production and Economic Benefits: Producing 1,3-Propanediol from glycerol domestically allows for local production and reduces reliance on overseas production from fossil fuel derivatives. This promotes regional economic development, job creation, and strengthens local supply chains. Additionally, it reduces the dependence on volatile international markets and enhances energy security.
- Environmental and Health Hazards Mitigation: Fossil fuel extraction, processing, and transportation can pose environmental risks such as oil spills, habitat destruction, and air and water pollution. By shifting to the production of 1,3-Propanediol from glycerol, we mitigate these environmental hazards associated with fossil fuel production. Furthermore, the use of renewable feedstocks reduces the potential exposure to toxic substances and pollutants, thereby promoting human and environmental health.
In summary, producing 1,3-Propanediol from glycerol byproduct of biodiesel production instead of fossil fuel derivatives overseas offers sustainability benefits such as the utilization of renewable feedstocks, waste valorization, reduced carbon footprint, improved energy efficiency, local production and economic benefits, and mitigation of environmental and health hazards. This shift supports the transition to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly chemical industry.
Environmental Sustainability from Process
The production of biofuels will require a lot of thermal energy. Most industrial operations use natural gas or other heavy polluting fuels, but we have partnered with SolarSteam to produce the majority of our thermal needs using solar technology. When not using the solar power, we will be using biomass powered boilers with advanced air scrubbing technology until later in our construction process when we capture that carbon to use in our industrial processes.
Economic Sustainability for the Region
By producing and distributing biofuels made from rotation crops in close vicinity to our operation, we are able to remove the expensive logistics of shipping our main product, FarmFuel.
Using canola as a rotation crop can strengthen food security in wheat production in the Palouse region of Eastern Washington State for several reasons:
- Disease and Pest Management: Canola belongs to a different botanical family than wheat, which helps break the disease and pest cycles specific to wheat. By rotating crops, farmers can disrupt the life cycles of pests and pathogens that target wheat, reducing their populations. This practice helps control diseases like stripe rust, Fusarium head blight, and soil-borne pathogens that can significantly impact wheat yields. By mitigating the risk of disease outbreaks, canola rotation contributes to a more secure food supply.
- Weed Control: Canola has different growth habits and nutrient requirements compared to wheat, which helps manage weeds effectively. Rotating with canola allows farmers to diversify their weed control strategies and target weeds that are not effectively controlled by wheat herbicides. By reducing weed pressure, farmers can optimize wheat yields and ensure a more reliable food supply.
- Soil Health and Nutrient Management: Canola has a deep taproot system that penetrates the soil, helping improve soil structure and water infiltration. It also takes up different nutrients than wheat, reducing the risk of nutrient depletion and imbalances in the soil. Canola’s extensive root system also contributes to organic matter accumulation and nutrient cycling, enhancing soil fertility for subsequent wheat crops. By maintaining soil health and nutrient management through canola rotation, farmers can sustain higher wheat yields and long-term food security.
- Market Diversification: Canola is an oilseed crop that has multiple uses, including biodiesel production, culinary oil, and animal feed. By including canola in the rotation, farmers can diversify their income streams and reduce dependency on wheat prices alone. This diversification helps stabilize farm revenues and enhances the economic viability of agricultural operations. In turn, farmers are better positioned to invest in wheat production, further strengthening food security in the region.
- Crop Rotation and Resilience: Crop rotation is an essential practice to improve the resilience of agricultural systems. By avoiding continuous wheat cultivation, which can lead to increased disease and pest pressures, farmers can build a more resilient farming system. Canola rotation breaks the cycle of wheat-specific pests and diseases, reducing the reliance on chemical inputs and minimizing the risk of crop failure. This resilience ensures a more consistent wheat production, contributing to long-term food security.
In conclusion, using canola as a rotation crop strengthens food security in wheat production in the Palouse region of Eastern Washington State by providing effective disease and pest management, weed control, soil health improvement, nutrient management, market diversification, and overall crop system resilience. By incorporating canola into the rotation, farmers can optimize wheat yields, reduce risks, and ensure a more stable and secure food supply.