Friday, April 21, 2006

Sharing the Wealth in an Iowa Biodiesel Plant

We may not be Saudi Arabia here, but we are starting to see a lot of activity in the alternative fuels programs that are seeking to capitalize on the abundant crop resources and skills of Iowa farmers and the technicians and engineers who are involved in such projects.

Although production of ethanol from corn is not the most efficient way of producing the stuff, one thing that we do get is high quality feed in the form of dried distiller's grains and solids (DDGS). DDGS is a high protein feed that actually has its nutritional content improved by the addition of yeast and yeast residue. Likewise soy based biodiesel produces the familiar oilseed cake and soy protein for hungry humans as well as animals.

So when something comes along that'll improve the efficiency of the process, we have to take notice, particularly in this day of $75 per barrel crude oil.

A biodiesel plant that is planned for Cherokee County in north west Iowa will be fueled by pelletized biomass from the local landfill, with substantial benefits in improved efficiency. Every BTU that can come from local resources lightens the burden and lowers the cost for the rest of us. The facility is to undergo construction and come on line in 2008.


Post a Comment

<< Home