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Dresser Wayne multifuel blender pump (Ovation Series)offering E20, E30, E85, B5, and B20, exhibited at the 2010 Washington Auto Show (Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz)

MDA biofuels grants expand access and production

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Four grants from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture will expand biofuel access and production to advance renewable energy efforts around the state.

The MDA’s Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation Program recently awarded grants totaling more than $500,000 to four recipients, through two separate competitive review processes.

The AGRI Bioenergy/Biochemical Pilot Project Grant provides funding that would advance a bioenergy or biochemical production technology beyond the bench scale/proof-of-concept scale toward commercial scale, through construction and operation of a pilot plant.

The AGRI Biofuel Blending Infrastructure Grant provides funding for biofuel blending infrastructure equipment to promote economic growth and environmentally friendly practices in Minnesota’s biofuel industries.

Plasma Blue ($150,000) received a $150,000 Bioenergy/Biochemical Pilot Project grant to scale up its plasma technology pilot plant at the University of Minnesota toward real-world use in biodiesel production.

Biofuel Blending Infrastructure Grants were awarded to Kwik Trip Inc., Renewable Energy Group and Denco II. Kwik Trip’s $185,465 grant will be used to expand their existing Biofuel blending facility in Eyota. Renewable Energy Group in Albert Lea will use its $113,050 to install and upgrade tanks and dispensers at fueling locations and a conversion system to fleet vehicles that will allow them to operate on B100 fuel. Denco II will use an  $82,685.40 to upgrade their Morris site to offer E15 fuel to local marketplace and create an E85 product using regular gasoline.