Navy Plan Benefits Biomass: Fuel for Carriers, Jets Adds demand for Biofuel Source Other than Corn
by Dan Piller (Des Moines Register) Cellulosic ethanol could use a break, and it appears that the U.S. military may be riding to the rescue.
A Missouri cooperative called (what else?) ShowMe Energy is building an $80 million, 3 million gallon facility that will open in 2014 and will make jet fuel for the military from switchgrass.
The plant will be one of several that the military will use to produce biofuels, which are considered particularly effective as aviation fuel.
…If Iowa will keep its lead in biofuel production, it must find a way to produce ethanol from non-corn sources, such as corn stalks or the tall grasses that once covered the Iowa prairie.
…Steve Flick of ShowMe told a biomass conference at Southwestern Community College in Creston this month that the company was on track to supply fuel pellets for utilities.
“We may still do some of that work, but the military has come on very big in the last year,” he said.
Flick said the military demand for biofuels “solves our biggest problem, which happens when our banker asks who will buy our product.”
ShowMe is based in Centerview, east of Kansas City. It will draw switchgrass from farmers in northwest Missouri, where the hilly terrain makes corn and soybean farming less viable than north of the border in Iowa. READ MORE