Time is ripe for new Newell plant
A feasibility study has been completed for Raccoon Valley Bio-Diesel, LLC, and the next phase will be plant engineering and development.
Terry Argotsinger, co-owner of Stalcup Ag Service and an accredited farm manager and rural appraiser, laid out the tentative plans for the Raccoon Valley biodiesel plant Monday at Monday's meeting of the Hy-Noon Kiwanis.
Argotsinger said 22 investors from eight counties currently comprise the investor group. He said the group will be doing a prospectus with a focus on Iowa investors. The group has a Des Moines law firm handling its incorporation papers.
They are currently looking for a CPA firm to handle financial arrangements, Argotsinger said.
Without specifying the size of plant that would be built, Argotsinger outlined some of the statistics involved with a plant with 30 million gallons of production a year. That's the maximum size of any currently existing plant.
Argotsinger said a 30-million gallon capacity plant would use three tankers of soy oil daily as well as 8,500 gallons of methane. There would also be three train loads of soy diesel going out daily.
Due to a new energy bill passed by Congress, production of soy diesel, also known as bio diesel, is more financially attractive than ever. Already the nation's ethanol-production leader, current plans call for an increase in the number of ethanol plants in Iowa from 18 to 28. And that's only the beginning.
"The next phase of this is biodiesel," Argotsinger said. He offered a breakdown of soybean uses and processes.
According to Argotsinger, 18 percent of soybean composition is oil, 18 percent protein or bean meal, 15 percent carbohydrates, 15 percent insoluble carbohydrates or dietary fiber, and 14 percent moisture.
Oil shortages, plus government clean-air mandates, are making bio diesel more attractive than ever as an alternative fuel source. With 56 percent of diesel fuel used on highways, Congress has mandated that sulfur in diesel must be reduced starting 2006. He said soybean oil is an excellent lubricant to replace sulfur. A total of 62 billion gallons of diesel are burned every year in the U.S.
Soybeans are but one of the many sources for oil that can be used in bio diesel manufacture. Animal fats or waste vegetable can be used as well, Argotsinger said.