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MASBDA Pumps More Infrastructure Funding Into Biofuels Storage Around State

ThamKC - stock.adobe.com

In an effort to increase the distribution and use of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel in Missouri, the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority has invested more than $2 million in projects.

The funding comes from the USDA Rural Development’s Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program, as well as the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council and the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council.

Biodiesel is a renewable resource alternative to fossil fuels. Christi Miller of the Missouri Department of Agriculture says as more vehicles are using biofuels, it's necessary to offer a more diverse option for flex-fuel vehicles.

"When you think of a flex-fuel vehicle with Ethanol, or E-10 vehicles, when you go up to E-85 vehicles, those need to be a flex-fuel vehicle. So the higher the blend, [a] different engine [is needed] to use those biofuels."

A press release announced the numerous businesses that would benefit from the funding. The max amount a business could receive was $250,000, with the lowest being just under $9000. One of the businesses that received the top range of funding, included River Bend Fuels, located in Cape Girardeau. Connected businesses such as Rhodes 101 will benefit from the installation of a new biodiesel pump and an above-ground B99 tank for bulk blending.

While some of those who received funding are based in other states, such as Love’s Travel Stops & Country Store in Oklahoma, the funding will benefit service stations in Missouri. Not only will this funding benefit fuel-related businesses by offering them more variety for their customers, but it will also benefit farmers of soybean and corn.

"This is an opportunity to help Missouri corn and soybean farmers have more demand for their product", said Miller.

Biodiesel is made from a broad range of feedstocks. The renewable resource creates new uses for fats and oils and reduces emissions by over 50 percent compared to petroleum. Funding for the USDA Rural Development’s Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program began in July of 2021, and the construction of various facilities is slated for completion by the summer of 2023.