In accordance with European standard EN 14214, the feedstock used to make biodiesel is vegetable oil. At VERBIO, we chiefly use certified sustainable European rapeseed oil which is supplied directly to our plant by rail transport. We use also fatty acids from biodiesel production and vegetable oil refining which incurre as waste.
However, biodiesel is more than just vegetable oil – for only by further processing can it meet the demands of modern engine technology. The process used in our biodiesel plants for the transesterification of vegetable oil is based on a method co-developed by Dr. Georg Pollert, who is the co-founder of VERBIO and now a member of the Supervisory Board.
In the transesterification, vegetable oil and methanol react with the aid of a catalyst to produce fatty acid methylester (FAME). Glycerin is produced as a by-product, which we process in our plants to a high-purity by-product which is used in the pharmaceutical and the cosmetics industry. In addition to the transesterification plants, we operate esterfication plants in which fatty acids are converted into biodiesel.
The correct chemical name for our fuel is fatty acid methylester. Under the product name biodiesel the biofuel is being delivered to our customers by pipelines, by train or by truck.
The rapeseed oil contains fat-soluble accompanying substances, e.g. sterols. In our plants, which were put in operation at the end of 2014, the sterols are gained as a by-product from our biodiesel. We can thereby increase the added value from the raw material rapeseed oil and further increase the sustainability of the biodiesel production. We developed and patented the technology for our sterol production.