Our MOI Labs facility was set up to service W2Fuel, nominally a biodiesel company. We spent 2 years developing expertise, procedures, and getting ready for certification. With their abrupt cessation of support, due to their inability to make any money off biodiesel (long story), they are taking back custody of the capital investment (i.e., the larger analytical instruments). I’m guessing they want to sell it with the plants, but I’m not an insider any more. Where does that leave us?
The tests listed on the “Capabilities” page document are what we have left after they’re done carting things off. This is based on either equipment we already had in place without them, bought along the way ourselves, or can be done with simple glassware etc. rather than using electronic equipment.
It is absolutely our intention to replace the rest of the equipment, but we’re going to take our time shopping for used instrument deals. Urgency will depend on whether we have paying customers for any given test method. Some of the tests like copper corrosion or flash point, we’ve not had any interest in, even from W2Fuel. Others, like elemental analysis and oxidative stability, we have firm customer inquiries and are weighing our options. Soon, we will start the certification process, which takes 6 months to a year. Once we have that, it makes sense to get the complete set so we can certify biodiesel lots.
In keeping with our mission to foster local green technologies, we plan to purchase any equipment that you, the community we serve, are interested enough in that you’ll bring us regular test samples. We’ll not charge to develop new tests, providing we have a commitment to use it. Keep an eye on updates to the “Capabilities” page if you wish to see what we’ve got in place at any given point in time.
We’re not just sticking with biodiesel — I am looking at a cytometer for algae eco-system characterization. Analyzes and catalogs images of every cell in your culture and plots the data 10 ways to sunday, including you can call up the pictures in families groupings… Wonderful stuff. And who’s to say what else we may get into?