A Long-Shot Biodiesel Quest

The Mexican government, jatropha and one man’s pursuit of biodiesel in Missouri
By Luke Geiver | August 16, 2011

There is a lot to doubt about Boyd Ware’s quest to build a biodiesel facility in Fulton, Mo. To start, he plans on using a feedstock that, to this point, has been unavailable for significant use in the U.S.: jatropha. Next, he plans to source the feedstock from the Mexican government. But, his quest doesn’t appear to be a pipedream. Ware recently made his case before the city council of Fulton to stop the council from taking away land it had previously set aside for construction of the facility. In a six-to-one vote, the council decided to allow Ware to retain the potential use of land based on this recently formed partnership with Mexican officials to produce jatropha. Bill Johnson, Fulton’s city administrator, says the feedstock will be grown and crushed in Mexico and shipped to Fulton via rail.

The city isn’t under contract with Ware, nor the Mexican government, and Ware is responsible for all of the funding for the biodiesel plant that would use jatropha. “In this struggling economy,” Johnson says on the actions of the city council, “the community is looking for every economic opportunity that comes along.”

—Luke Geiver

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