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Biofuels and Biomaterials

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Fueling Green Growth and Innovation

Minnesota is recognized nationwide as a leading producer of biofuels.

We were the first state in the nation to require a 5-percent biodiesel blend in most diesel fuels, we rank first in the number of gas pumps (314) offering E85 (2014) and fourth in ethanol production capacity with more than 1.1 billion gallons (2013).

And we fuel energy innovation in other important ways. Fibrominn Biomass Power Plant, for example, is the first operating poultry litter plant in the country, produces 55 megawatts annually of carbon neutral renewable energy, enough to power about 40,000 homes.

Leading Biofuels and Biomaterials Companies

In addition to fuels, our companies produce everything from clothing, bottles, films, packaging and textiles made from renewable polymers to isobutanol, a versatile chemical for the liquid fuels and petrochemical market.

Key biofuels and biomaterials companies include:

  • Cargill: Bio-industrial products

  • 3M: Bio-materials

  • Advanced BioEnergy LLC: Ethanol

  • Highwater Ethanol LLC: Ethanol

  • Minnesota Soybeans Processors: Bio-Diesel

  • Green Plains: Ethanol

  • Valero Renewable Fuels: Biofuels

  • Granite Falls Energy LLC: Ethanol

  • Gevo: Isobutanol

  • NatureWorks: Apparel, bottles, food packing

  • Fibrominn: Biomass

  • StarchTech, Inc.: Biodegradable packing

Sources: Hoovers Database, company websites

R&D Partnership Opportunities

The potential for collaboration and partnership in the research, development and commercialization of biomaterials and biofuels is tremendous. The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is a research leader when it comes to the production of bioenergy and biobased products that will lead to the development of sustainable regional systems. The university's department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering's research and academic programs are at the forefront of discovery. The core areas are bioprocessing, environmental and ecological engineering, food production and advanced building systems and energy efficiency.

Biofuels Incentives

The Bioincentive Program offered through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture provides production payments to encourage commercial-scale production of advanced biofuels, renewable chemicals, and thermal energy production from biomass.

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