Biodiesel producers receive Farm Bill grants

By Nicholas Zeman | February 23, 2010
Posted March 17, 2010

During the first round of fiscal year 2009 Farm Bill funding for renewables, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack awarded funding to 123 recipients in 34 states to accelerate the production and usage of advanced biofuels.

Among those receiving money was FutureFuels Chemical Co. of Batesville, Ark. This integrated biodiesel refinery and chemical producer was awarded more than $544,000. Richard Byers, biofuels manager for FutureFuels said that the money would be used to purchase a distillation column and other equipment for the biodiesel plant. "By installing a distillation column, we're responding to the needs of our customers," Byers told Biodiesel Magazine. "The petroleum industry is our primary customer and they are very aware of impurities in fuel and some of the advantages that distillation provides. I'm certain that they want to see the biodiesel industry succeed, but their job is to protect fuel consumers."

For the complete list of biodiesel and other renewable fuel producers, click here.

Applications are also being accepted for remaining FY 2009 funding under the Repowering Assistance Program (Section 9004), which provides for payments to biorefineries (that were in existence when the Farm Bill was passed) to replace the use of fossil fuels in their operations with renewable energy from biomass. Biorefineries interested in obtaining funding must apply by June 15, 2010.

"The Obama Administration is working aggressively to give our nation's rural communities, farmers, ranchers and producers of biofuels the financial tools they need to help bring greater energy independence to America," Vilsack said. "This funding will help the nation's advanced biofuel industry produce energy from sustainable rural resources, and in doing so create jobs and stimulate rural economies across the nation."
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