Autodesk Helps General Biodiesel Cost-Effectively Expand Operations

Clean Tech Company Saves More Than $500,000 on Process Plant Improvements

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — October 28, 2010 — General Biodiesel, a clean tech company focused on converting used cooking oil into low-carbon biofuel, used Digital Prototyping and piping and instrumentation diagramming (P&ID) software from Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) to expand and make process improvements to its main production facility. The company estimates that it saved more than $500,000 on the plant upgrade project.

General Biodiesel uses Digital Prototyping and piping and instrumentation diagramming (P&ID) softwar ...

General Biodiesel uses Digital Prototyping and piping and instrumentation diagramming (P&ID) software from Autodesk to convert used cooking oil into low-carbon biofuel. (Photo: Business Wire)

As part of its plant improvements, General Biodiesel used Autodesk Inventor and AutoCAD P&ID software to design a sophisticated pre-treatment system that enables higher yields from converting used cooking oil into fuel. This pre-treatment system helps produce exceptionally clean-burning fuel and is one of the lowest carbon diesel alternatives available on the market, offering 85 percent less carbon dioxide emissions than conventional petroleum diesel.

The Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program—which provides software for emerging clean tech companies in North America and Europe—enabled General Biodiesel to combine Digital Prototyping technology with AutoCAD-based P&ID design to efficiently implement this state-of-the-art biodiesel production process within its plant. Autodesk partner IMAGINiT helped to provide the training to ensure successful deployment of the products.

3D Imagery and Streamlined Process Design Accelerates Upgrade

General Biodiesel’s designers used AutoCAD P&ID software to plan the facility upgrade, helping to enable faster and more detailed piping and instrumentation diagrams with more complete visualization of the project layout. The company also used AutoCAD P&ID to generate the bill of materials, making for more accurate reports and saving money through greater efficiency. Autodesk Inventor software helped the company produce compelling 3D digital prototypes of the plant and equipment to quickly visualize and explore the viability of proposed changes.

“Autodesk software was extremely helpful in streamlining and organizing our processes,” said Cameron Hewes, president and chief financial officer at General Biodiesel. “Using Autodesk Inventor and AutoCAD P&ID helped us design and make real-time incremental process changes that improved efficiency and throughput for our plant. By creating process flow diagrams, bill of materials and piping and instrumentation diagrams with Autodesk software, we significantly reduced our costs while improving our collaboration and efficiency.”

“Clean Tech companies are seeking every opportunity to free up time and money that can be devoted to the company’s core mission,” said Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice president, Autodesk Manufacturing Industry Group. “General Biodiesel is a prime example of how advantageous Digital Prototyping can be to drive efficient operations.”

About the Clean Tech Partner Program

The Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program supports early-stage clean technology companies by providing design and engineering software that accelerates their development of solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Clean tech companies in North America and Europe who can benefit from Autodesk solutions for Digital Prototyping are invited to apply to receive up to $150,000* worth of software for only $50. Access to a collection of Autodesk industry-leading software applications includes up to five licenses of AutoCAD Inventor Professional Suite, Autodesk Showcase, Autodesk Vault Professional, Autodesk Revit Architecture, Autodesk Alias Design, Autodesk Algor Simulation and Autodesk Inventor Publisher software. For additional information, visit

About General Biodiesel, Inc.

Headquartered in Seattle, Wash., General Biodiesel generates positive energy by diverting regional waste streams and producing low-carbon fuel from sustainable resources. For additional information, visit

About IMAGINiT Technologies

IMAGINiT is a leading provider of Autodesk software solutions and the largest North American Autodesk Authorized Training Center (ATC) partner. All IMAGINiT locations are supported by a vast pool of engineering resources focused on developing real-life business solutions for local clients. For additional information, visit

About Autodesk

Autodesk, Inc., is a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. Customers across the manufacturing, architecture, building, construction, and media and entertainment industries -- including the last 15 Academy Award winners for Best Visual Effects -- use Autodesk software to design, visualize and simulate their ideas. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk continues to develop the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art software for global markets. For additional information about Autodesk, visit

*Value is based on up to five commercial licenses of each application.

Autodesk, AutoCAD, Algor, Alias, ATC, Autodesk Inventor, Inventor, Revit and Showcase are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. Academy Award is a registered trademark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product and services offerings, and specifications and pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.

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