15 Aug State grant explores bio-diesel potential
Brooklyn, Wis. – The economic feasibility of crushing seeds and extracting raw meal for bio-diesel fuel will be the subject of an investigation funded by $60,000 from the State of Wisconsin.
Agriculture Secretary Rod Nilsestuen handed an agricultural business in Dane County the grant to explore a project that could unlock the energy in soybean, sunflower, and canola seeds for farmers throughout the state.
O’Brien Farms, in collaboration with Great Lakes BioFuels, LLC and other area farmers, is researching the idea of a mobile, “containerized” processor to transform oilseeds into finished bio-diesel fuel and animal feed.
“Today’s energy prices are sparking a race towards energy independence,” said Nilsestuen, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, in a release. “We want the race to be won here in Wisconsin.”
The funds come from Wisconsin’s $1 million Biobased Industry Opportunity Grant Program included Gov. Jim Doyle’s 2005 state budget to help businesses and individuals develop ways to use plant and animal resources for renewable energy.
O’Brien Farms, a fourth-generation family farm located in the town of Oregon, specializes in corn and soybean hybrids. The farm has been researching bio-diesel production to offset agricultural fuel costs, and much of the seed-handling equipment in the operation is custom designed to suit the needs of production agriculture.
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