In the Press: Biodiesel Refinery

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Construction of Renewable Diesel Refinery Near High River to Begin This Summer

Cielo Waste Solutions will transform the former Western Biodiesel facility, located north of High River next to Cargill, into a one-of-a-kind clean refinery that turns garbage into renewable diesel.  PHOTO COURTESY OF CIELO WASTE SOLUTIONS

By Paul Krajewski (

Friday, July 14, 2017 1:41:31 MDT PM 

Construction of a one-of-a-kind clean refinery that will turn garbage into fuel near High River will begin in August.

After recently being awarded an MD of Foothills building permit, Cielo Waste Solutions announced it is going ahead with its $12-million facility to produce high-grade renewable diesel in the Foothills region by the end of the year.

“We are excited—things are going very well and we’re moving at a good speed,” Don Allan, Cielo CEO, explained. “We are starting to dismantle our demonstration plant in Red Deer and finishing the engineering so we can start construction.”

He said deconstruction will take between four and five weeks.

The plant will then be delivered to Lyncorp Manufacturing in Aldersyde for renovations and modifications before it is re-erected, pending provincial approval, at its new home in the Highway 2A industrial corridor on a $2.3-million properly formerly occupied by Western Biodiesel.

“We’ve decided to go with two phases,” he said, adding the first is to rebuild the demonstration plant and increase production to approximately 350 litres per hour.

For the second, Allan said production will increase to 1,800 litres per hour, but only after it has been determined the plant can operate safely at phase one capacity for 24 hours a day.

“We weren’t planning to use our demonstration plant in Red Deer, but we felt it was less risky if we start with this one first, and then we are going to do an expansion on it as soon as it is running,” he said.

The plant should be operating by December with the second phase to be completed in late spring of 2018, he added.

Cielo will utilize technology it has developed over the last half-decade to turn cellulose waste— landfill garbage, trees, saw dust, rubber tires and plastics—into fuel, as reported in a previous Times article.

Allan said the operation will first be sustained with wood shavings, from Li’l Shaver in Sundre, before different materials are used in the innovative, and still evolving, refining process.

“For the past four and a half years, Cielo has utilized its Demo Plant to optimize its proprietary catalyst formulation and finalize the designs required to scale up its technology, from a 50 litre an hour batch process, into modular continuous flow refineries that can produce millions of litres per year of high grade renewable diesel fuel,” a July 10 Cielo press release read.

Allan said Cielo will file a production patent within the next week and finalize its financing before the end of the month.

In an earlier Times article, Allan stated the plant is the only one of its kind in North America.

“We completely eliminate the landfill,” he added. “Typically, refineries have a lot of dangerous emissions and we have none—we are the cleanest refinery to ever be built in the world. We recycle everything we possibly can and there is no waste.”

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Press Release: Cielo Waste Solutions

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