It has been said that necessity is the mother of innovation. This old adage is especially true when it comes to power sources. Mankind is faced with a serious obstacle when it comes to fuel; the mining and refining of crude oil is an old and outdated way of meeting global energy needs. We need to find solutions that are less resource-intensive, including the limited one-time use of fossil fuels. Experts agree that repurposing biomass byproducts, which would otherwise be disposed of, is one path toward a “carbon neutral” future.
Innovators like Geoff Hirson have long been at the forefront of renewable fuels and finding alternative sources of power, including diesel and jet fuel. “Renewable fuels” is another way of describing an energy source that’s been produced from refined biomass, waste fats or grease. Facilities that complete this complicated work are an important part of the energy grid, according to Geoff Hirson, who is president of one renewable fuels company currently making renewable diesel from brown and yellow grease.
Mr. Hirson has logged a long career in the renewable fuels sector. His experience stretches back nearly a decade to work with a firm that developed a renewable drop in fuel processing. This was done using proprietary gasification and a Fischer Tropsh gas liquification process. He would later call on first-hand experience here and move on to the chief executive role at St. Joseph Renewable Fuels. According to Renewable Energy Magazine, the firm in spring 2020 announced plans to “build a $400 million renewable diesel plant in Southern Illinois that envisions utilizing innovative technologies.” Further, the goals of environmental protection and reducing carbon dioxide creation would be accomplished through the plant rendering “waste fats and greases from a region spanning 1,000 miles around Newton, [Illinois] which would otherwise be landfilled or emptied into sewer drains.” This innovative effort is slated to produce 90 million gallons of diesel and naphtha fuel plus seven million gallons of technical grade glycerin every year, according to the article. There will undoubtedly be future projects similar to this and it presents an opportunity for investors who want to back an idea that could contribute to the stability of the transportation and energy sector in the U.S.
Geoff Hirson points to this project in Illinois as an example of what the alternative fuels sector has to offer. It can start small, with owners of commuter diesel cars using biofuels as the energy source in the combustion engine. It can also take the shape of a large-scale carbon-negative plants that are processing and distributing a power source that would have been considered waste in another era. We encourage visitors to check back often to both learn more about Geoff Hirson as well as the latest efforts in the renewable fuels sector.