Plasma Blue showcases innovation in the biodiesel industry

Plasma Blue, a company established by the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, is using a new technology involving electricity and liquid plasma to produce biodiesel.

Tom Slunecka is the CEO of Plasma Blue.

“Plasma Blue has the exclusive license to a new kind of technology that makes biodiesel in a completely new way,” he says. “We’re able to make biodieisel far less expensively than traditional methods because we use electricity instead of natural gas to create the process.”

He says the process has the potential to reduce energy consumption and the cost of biodiesel production.

“Because this uses less energy overall and it’s able to use electricity, this can be powered by wind or solar generations,” he says. “We’re able to use ethanol as opposed to methanol, so if you were to use wind or solar panels and ethanol, this would be creating biofuels without any petroleum.”

He says they want to make sure that soybean and other types of vegetable oil remain a viable source for biodiesel.

“We’ve built this industry from the ground up, we have hundreds of small biodiesel plants around the country, and by reducing the price of biodiesel production costs we think we’re going to be able to keep these small plants viable for much, much longer,” he says.

Slunecka says he is hopeful the technology will be embraced in biodiesel plants across the country and if a plant were to bring the new technology in, it would pay for itself in 18-20 months.  

Brownfield interviewed Slunecka during the 2020 National biodiesel Conference in Tampa, Florida.

Audio: Tom Slunecka, Plasma Blue

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