Industry heading for sustainability
Mr Dielacher, on March 11, a biodiesel plant built by BDI went into operation in Komárom, Hungary. What are its features?
For our customer Envien Group, we built a multi-feedstock plant of the newest generation – from planning to start-up. Our in-house developed technology allows our costumer to transform most inferior substances like waste oils or fats into high-quality, sustainable biodiesel. With the achieved annual production of biodiesel, 70,000 vehicles can be fueled carbon-neutrally.
BDI is a Styrian company and world market leader regarding the manufacturing of biodiesel plants. How will you further expand this position?
We began producing biodiesel from waste cooking oil 25 years ago in Mureck (Styria). Since then, we have continuously enhanced our technologies and applied for 320 patents; we conduct research in-house as well as with colleges and universities of applied science and are the global leader in the manufacturing of biodiesel plants. With our patented Rep-CAT technology including a reusable catalysator, we provide a uniquely environmentally friendly treatment. Furthermore, we can process the broad spectrum of waste oils and fats from industry and trade.
Considering the insecurity of supply with fossil fuels and climate change, do you expect a new biodiesel boom?
The demand for biodiesel has always been high, e.g., during the BSE crisis when our plants transformed animal fats from all over Europa into environmentally friendly biodiesel instead of burning them. There is no “silver bullet” for the withdrawal from fossil fuels. Alongside solar energy, wind and water, biomass is just another possibility. To reduce the ecological footprint, we need a mix of technologies available on the market, from e-mobility to wind and water power to solar energy. However, biodiesel has an impressive life cycle assessment: One liter of green fuel from old fats reduces the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 88 percent, compared to fossil diesel, and is completely bio-degradable within 21 days.
Where can biofuels replace fossil fuels?
It is already common to admix 7 percent of biodiesel with diesel in Austria – 15 to 20 percent would be possible. Biofuels mean less carbon emission and are produced by each country – every drop has a positive effect. Climate change does not wait for technologies that are not yet well-engineered. Biodiesel, gained from waste oil and fats, is a sustainable, established kind of fuel for a wide range of applications.
What are the specific benefits of biodiesel?
Renewable energies must be treated resource-sparing and used efficiently: ecologically and economically, the production of biodiesel is currently the optimum solution. In terms of circular economy, waste oils and fats are chemically valorized. On the one hand, they contribute to greenhouse gas reduction, and, on the other hand, they provide for self-sufficiency regarding energy supply – which not only takes on greater significance in Austria.
For a few years already, BDI-BioEnergy International has been going beyond biodiesel plant manufacturing. What is your aim?
We have already been positioning ourselves als full-range supplier of GreenTech Solutions for three years. This means that we offer tailor-made services regarding the development of wet chemical processes to upscale technologies from laboratory scale to market maturity. Regardless of whether plastic upcycling, phosphor recycling or breeding of microalgae – we act as sparing partners for our customers, from process development to the construction of fully automatic industrial plants.
Which share of turnover do you aim for beyond your core business of biodiesel plants?
In the medium term, the share will be up to 50 percent as the market demand is quite high, while we are already market leaders in the valorization of waste oils and fats.
How does the shortage of qualified personnel affect your company?
In the past years, we have significantly grown thanks to the good order situation, and we will pursue this organic growth. By our positioning as innovative and attractive employer, we can roughly cover all our requirements regarding motivated, qualified employees. Peak periods must be cushioned with additional temporary workers who we, at best, try to keep on as permanent employees.
published in Trend