Emerson Chosen to Digitally Automate Renewable Diesel Plant

Dynamic Fuels LLC, a 50/50 venture of Tyson Foods Inc. and Syntroleum Corp., has awarded Emerson Process Management the contract to digitally automate Dynamic Fuels commercial-scale renewable diesel plant in Geismar, La.

With Emerson's PlantWeb digital architecture, Dynamic Fuels will gain control through the networking of thousands of Emerson smart devices, systems and predictive maintenance software, according to St. Louis-based Emerson.

The $138 million facility in Geismar, La, which is scheduled to begin operations in early 2010, will use Syntroleum's Bio-Synfining biofuels manufacturing process to convert animal fats and greases into 75 million gallons per year of ultraclean, renewable diesel fuel. With some plant modifications, the Geismar facility also can produce renewable jet fuel.

"This is not your typical biodiesel or bioethanol plant," said Jeff Bigger, senior vice president of business development for Syntroleum. "Emerson has a good background in employing automation. As a hydrogenation facility, we needed that reliability and to have the close operation control, which is integral in such an environment."

Bio-Synfining processes triglycerides and fatty acids from fats and vegetable oils with heat, hydrogen and proprietary catalysts to produce renewable diesel or jet fuel. The complex process is similar to petroleum refining.

"We are pleased to team with Dynamic Fuels in delivering precise control of the extreme processes in this first commercial-scale renewable diesel plant in North America," said Steve Sonnenberg, president of Emerson Process Management. "Pairing the expertise and resources of our companies will help ensure that this innovative plant is developed on schedule, and operates smartly with high efficiency and availability."

Emerson has provided products and services to Syntroleum since before 2000. This will be the first Emerson installation for Dynamic Fuels.

"We need to have a design that can be exported to other locations," Bigger said. "And that's one of the things that we get with the Emerson system. It's scalable."

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