The BioCube™ is designed primarily for second-generation feedstock such as jatropha, or waste plant material that does not compete with the food chain. It can take in most oil-bearing fruit or waste vegetable oil and process it to produce high quality biodiesel.
This means the output of the BioCube™ can go straight into the tank of any diesel engine without modifying its settings. Just pour it in and run a generator, or drive a car, truck or tractor.
Feedstock oils that have either been tested or considered for the BioCube include: Canola, Pongamia, Jatropha, Sunflower oil, Palm oil, Coconut, Macademia, Camelina, Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO), Mustard Seed and Algae oil.
Each of these oils has different qualities; colour, viscosity, cloud-point, FFA-level will all differ between oil types and sometimes even within type (sunflower oil produces a pale gold biodiesel, mustard seed and palm oil is reddish, canola can vary from golden to green depending on source).
The BioCube™ is broadly feedstock agnostic and can produce high quality biodiesel from a wide spectrum of feedstock types. However, there are certain pre-conditions required to generate quality end product even in the BioCube process, and purchasers may have to pre treat their raw feedstock oil to facilitate the production of quality biodiesel. There are also some characteristics of certain feedstock oils that no refining process can change (such as trace molecular ion content like sulphur uncertain oils). Certain oils, such as Castor are not suitable because of high gum content.
Plant oils (and animal fats) are composed of triglycerides, which are esters containing three fatty acids. The BioCube Process involves vegetable or animal fats being reacted with short-chain alcohols and a catalyst to undergo the chemical reaction, which forms fatty acid methyl ester or biodiesel and glycerin.
Each oil has a marginally different raw state, chemical make up and process of treatment. (For a full list contact your BioCube distributor or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Customers occasionally enquire specifically about animal fats as a potential oil source for the BioCube. While it is possible, there are a number of challenges around handling animal fats given their viscosity and it is not a preferred feedstock. We would recommend purchasers interested in dealing with animal fats speak with their BioCube distributor or directly to BioCube Consulting to evaluate their specific business opportunity.
Feedstock Oils and quality compliance
There are a number of different international standards for biodiesel compliance each with its own variants. BioCube utilizes one of the predominant measures: the North American standard, ASTM D6751. Certain oils simply cannot ever produce B100 ASTM D6751 standard quality biodiesel (Castor). Others can but are marginal (Shea nut and tallows); some lend themselves well to the process (Palm, Soy, Canola).
Certain oils need pre treatment and some criteria of the ASTM standard can only be reached by post-process treatment. Fuel that the BioCube creates will not necessarily be B100 ASTM compliant straight out of the BioCube, but will require some post treatment to attain certification. This post treatment of oil is standard throughout the fuel industry. It is certainly not unique to the BioCube and will not be a surprise to anyone who is familiar with that business. It is also worth noting that the usability of the end product is not directly correlated with ASTM compliance. The ASTM measure is an arbitrary standard. If the output of BioCube passes its primary seven test criteria, the resulting fuel will be of extremely high quality and run well in almost all diesel engines without issue.
Biodiesel from the BioCube process has achieved independently-tested ASTM D6751 compliance at B100 (100%) key criteria. In most instances, biodiesel will be blended in ratios not greater than 50% (B50) and in the vast majority of times at 20% (B20) or less. In these instances, biodiesel from the BioCube, using satisfactory quality feedstock, will produce ASTM compliant biodiesel at the B50 and B20 levels with ease.
This versatile unit is designed to operate alongside a small to medium sized plantation of oil-bearing fruit, or any enterprise that can obtain usable bio-oil for processing.