OnSite Energy, MSU Partner On Freeway to Fuels Project

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onsite energy

FLINT — In an effort to ‘Go Green,’ OnSite Energy announced a new partnership with Michigan State University Extension’s Freeway to Fuels project.

The Freeway to Fuels project will test the potential of growing oilseed crops for bioenergy production. Phase I explored the feasibility of growing, harvesting and utilizing bioenergy crop on non-traditional land in Michigan. Growing oilseed crops on non-traditional cropland creates economic activity and jobs on land that is currently not in production.

Biodiesel fuel has been made simple and cost-effective. During the last three years OnSite Energy — in conjunction with the United States Department of Agriculture, the Michigan Corn Growers Association, Mott Community College’s Regional Technology Center, and the Center for Advanced Manufacturing — has surveyed and researched the Michigan Agricultural market. Research results prompted OnSite Energy to develop a fully automated biodiesel fuel processor. Michigan State University Extension has partnered with and purchased a processor for use in farm demonstrations teaching farmers how to produce biodiesel.

Through this partnership, OnSite Energy and MSU Extension have developed a portable unit that contains the equipment to crush oil from seed and convert it to biodiesel. Equipment is mounted in an enclosed cargo trailer and can be pulled from farm to farm to teach farmers how to make their own biodiesel fuel. Oil can be squeezed from soybeans, canola and other oil crops. Once oil is extracted using the press, it is pumped into the biodiesel unit, conversion chemicals added and the automatic system processes the oil into biodiesel.

OnSite Energy processors offer an affordable green alternative to petro diesel. Without any alterations, diesel engines can run biodiesel.

“Making fuel on site allows for long-term fuel price stabilization, up to $1 per gallon in savings as well as supports local industry,” says OnSite Energy CEO  Michael Witt. “We are all about local economies and getting the most out of Michigan’s resources. Michigan is primed for success with biodiesel fuel on a local scalable level. By switching to biodiesel fuel Michigan can reduce greenhouse gas emissions dramatically, stop the massive importing of foreign fuel and keep the money local.”

OnSite Energy is a Flint-based company, making its biodiesel processors wholly in Michigan. The machines come in 40 to 400 gallon per batch sizes, and range in price from $10,000 to $42,000.  Using vegetable oil (including used or virgin soy, corn, rapeseed or other oilseed oils), a batch of biodiesel fuel may be produced in 8 hours, with as little as 15 minutes effort. Filtered used oil may be sourced from a variety of rendering companies that deliver batched, filtered oil to a farm or trucking site. Glycerin is the only by-product, readily disposed of and used in a variety of commercial products.

More information about OnSite Energy may be found at www.OnSiteEnergyLLC.com.

MSU Extension Bioenergy Educator Dennis Pennington indicated that “We would like to reach as many farmers as possible, showing them how to make their own fuel and discuss the economics of the process.” If you are interested in seeing a demonstration or hosting one at your farm, please contact Pennington at pennin34@msu.edu or (269) 838-8265.

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