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Missouri Organizes for Energy Independence

Submitted by on August 23, 2012 – 4:39 pmNo Comment

by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest)  …Like many states (or countries) that have limited oil reserves or reserves that are economically unfeasible to extract at this time – the path to energy independence lies generally in Missouri’s substantial “above-ground oil fields” – which is to say, in her considerable biobased resources.

To date, the state has become home to six corn ethanol plants with 275 million gallons of fuel capacity and can produce 825,000 tons of distillers grains, using up about 15 percent of the Missouri corn crop in the process – and eight biodiesel plants that with 228 million gallons in capacity.

…There’s production here today of cellulosic biofuels in Missouri on a pilot scale. Last summer, ICM finished construction of its $31 million cellulosic ethanol plant near St. Joseph. The facility has the capacity to produce 250,000 gallons a year from switchgrass, sorghum and corn stover from a 250 mile radius. The facility is one of a handful the company has received federal loans for in order to complete construction.

…Here’s the great news. In the southeastern section of the state, Missouri Delta AgBioWorks – partnered with the state’s Dept. of Agriculture, Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce, Memphis BioWorks, Delta Regional Authority, Mo Technical Corporation as well as many other organizations and Universities – has set a goal to build a Bio-based economy in the 7 counties of Missouri’s most productive agriculture region known as the Boot Heel of Missouri.

AgBioWorks is, itself, a multi-state consortium focused on development of a bio-based economy in a region encompassing parts of Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi – 98 countries that make up the Mississippi Delta region. . The group has estimated that in its region is up to 59 million tons in sustainable biomass reserves – up to 7.9 billion gallons of ethanol-equivalent fuels (using the maximum yields from cellulosic productino we’ve seen to date in demonstration-level projects).

What can the Show-Me state show you?   Five themes emerge from the story of Missouri’s biobased development.

1. If you can’t drill it, mill it. …

2. Slow but steady wins the race. …

3. Invest locally. …

4. Have ambition. …

5. Work regionally – partner early and often.   READ MORE and MORE (AgBio Works) and MORE (Biobased Digest)

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