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North Dakota Energy Spotlight – Biomass/Biofuels/Biodiesel

Biomass map by county

Biomass Resources of the United States: Total Resource by County; courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

• Biomass is all plant and animal matter. Harvested biomass can be used to generate various forms of energy, such as heat, electricity and biofuels. Biomass includes wood waste, energy crops, crop residues and other forms of organic waste.

• North Dakota has a diverse agricultural system that includes the production of 16 different agricultural commodities. North  Dakota has been identified as a great potential producer for perennial grass and other dedicated energy crops.

• The North Dakota State University Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering along with the Carrington Research Extension Center have been researching the feasibility of developing an advanced biofuel from energy beets since 2009.  Successful results have been seen at test sites all around North Dakota where sugar beets aren’t typically grown. In 2012, the  consortium of partners received funding to further their research and potentially develop energy beet ethanol facilities across North Dakota.

• Dakota Spirit AgEnergy plans to break ground in the summer of 2012 on a 65 million gallon per year biorefinery next to Great  River Energy’s Spiritwood Station power plant. Dakota Spirit AgEnergy Phase I will produce ethanol, corn oil and distillers grain  from corn. The implementation of Phase II will see a “bolt-on” facility producing cellulosic ethanol, sugars and lignin from corn  stover and wheat straw.

• The North Dakota Industrial Commission Renewable Energy Program has funded a variety of projects to enhance biomass  energy development, including a project to develop a complete, ready-for-bid design of a pilot-scale renewable oil refinery capable of producing diesel fuel, jet fuel and naptha.

• North Dakota’s only biodiesel production facility is located near Velva, ND. The plant utilizes canola as a feedstock and has the  potential to produce 85 million gallons of biodiesel per year. The facility is currently crushing canola rather than producing  biodiesel.

• Since construction in the 1980s, ADM’s sunflower processing plant at Enderlin has utilized sunflower hulls and other biomass as a boiler fuel. The facility’s cogeneration unit produces approximately one-quarter of the needed power to operate the entire  facility.

Read the full report of Great Plains Energy Corridor Spotlight on North Dakota Energy and request a hard copy here.

You may be interested in:
Great River Energy’s Dakota Spirit AgEnergy
NDSU Dept. of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

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