April 24, 2014

Florida Biotech

Florida Bio-Success Stories

Some Florida firms, using private financing, successfully generate power using biomass or produce biofuel from recycled vegetable oil.

Cynthia Barnett | 2/27/2012
Sugar Cane

» U.S. Sugar and Florida Crystals: U.S. Sugar's mill in Clewiston uses its cane fiber to fuel operations. Florida Crystals burns sugar cane and wood waste to generate power that runs its mill and refinery. It sells the surplus power to FPL, providing electricity to another 60,000 homes. Crystals says its plant is the largest renewable energy facility in North America.

Jeff Longo
Genuine Bio-fuel makes biodiesel from recycled vegetable oil. [Photo: Steven Martine]

» Biofuels: A number of firms throughout Florida recycle cooking oil into biodiesel. Martin County-based Genuine Bio-fuel has had success with a proprietary technology that uses ultrasonic-wave technology. Founded in 2007, Genuine Bio-fuel makes and sells more than 6 million gallons of biodiesel a year — all from recycled vegetable oil it picks up from restaurants and brokers around south Florida. It produces the diesel at a 20,000-sq.-ft. production facility in Indiantown.

Revenue, $600,000 in 2009, is in the millions now. Ironically, compared with the state's bioethanol efforts, COO Jeff Longo says, his company tried to get government grants but couldn't land any. Genuine Bio-fuel is 100% privately financed.

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