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Michigan Start Up Company Licenses Biodiesel Technology

Diesel truck (PRA/Wikimedia Commons)

(PRA/Wikimedia Commons)

NextCAT Inc. in Detroit, Michigan says it has licensed biofuel catalyst technology developed at the National Biofuels Energy Lab at Wayne State University, also in Detroit. The company says the technology can help restart the biodiesel industry that has been mostly idle in the United States since 2008, when rising feedstock prices made the production of biodiesel less economical.

NextCAT plans to use the technology to commercialize a class of catalysts that help convert inexpensive raw materials such as waste vegetable oil, animal fats, and residual corn oil into biodiesel. The technology is expected to return a cost savings of at least $1 per gallon over traditional diesel fuel, which NextCAT says changes the economics of a biodiesel plant.

NextCAT was founded in 2009 by Wayne State and University of Michigan faculty serving with National Biofuels Energy Lab. The company recently secured seed funding from Automation Alley, a regional technology business association, to begin the design, construction, and installation of a reactor at an idle biodiesel plant in Michigan.

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