Monday, January 14, 2008
Allegheny County based Thar Technologies has an extra $1.9 million to help commercialize a more environmentally friendly biodiesel production process the company has created a process to make biodiesel from oil seed that uses carbon dioxide rather than the environmentally hazardous chemical hexane. Company president Lalit Chordia says the process also produces more fuel per pound of oil seed, uses less energy per gallon and can use source materials that humans can not eat which helps to keep world food prices in check. If an edible food source is used then a byproduct of the process is an edible and marketable powder. The federal grant will allow Thar Technologies to develop the take the process from its current small batch limit to commercial quantities. Without the grant Chordia says it would take 4 to 5 years to get to that point but the grant will collapse that to about a year. The goal is to have a 40 million gallon a year plant in operation by 2010. Chordia thinks the diesel fuel can be made for $2.30 a gallon.