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Minnesota Biofuels Get Boost

biofuels minnesota

Following hot of the heels of recent wind energy and energy efficiency announcements in the Gopher state, the biofuels industry received some good news recently.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced national funding of US$44.6 million to 156 businesses and producers on advanced biofuel projects. In order to qualify for the funding, producers must be working on non corn-based biofuels. Examples include: vegetable oil, bio gas (sewage and landfill waste), food & yard waste, and cellulosic fuels.

“Just as importantly, USDA’s support will help to further develop the nation’s growing biofuels industry and generate green jobs and economic growth,” said US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the announcement.

Six Minnesota companies won funding from the USDA totalling around US$2.55 million. Cargill, one of the world’s largest agricultural companies received US$1.27 million towards biodiesel, along with Minnesota Soybean Processors (US$1.165 million), and Ever Cat Fuels (US$70,583).

Cargill, recently said they have cut 11% of their green house gas emissions (GHG), almost double the amount that they pledged to decrease with the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) of 6%, with part of it due to its support of biofuels. Evercat Fuels has had success with creating fuel from soy and canola crops.

With average wages from US$49,200-US$55,400, the USDA announcement helps solidify the biofuels industry in a state that has 21 ethanol and 5 biodiesel plants.

The funding also moves Minnesota as a strong clean tech state in the mid-western US and could give some lessons to its Canadian provincial prairie counterparts (hello Manitoba) on how to do clean tech right.

Photo Credit: GSankary

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