January 21, 2008 (Jiji Press) – Toyota Tsusho Corp. said Monday it and two other firms have jointly developed a technology to produce biodiesel fuel at lower cost.The other two companies are Ohta Oil Mill Co. and Toyota Chemical Engineering Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota Tsusho.
Biodiesel is made by blending methanol into plant-derived oil. The new technology requires smaller amounts of methanol and alkali catalysts than conventional technologies.
In addition, the new technology makes water removal facilities unnecessary.
Conventional technologies require such facilities because they involve the use of large amounts of water to remove glycerin, a major by-product.
As a result, initial investments needed for biodiesel facilities using the new technology will be about half the levels required for conventional facilities.
Toyota Tsusho plans to put the technology into actual use in Asia as early as 2010.