GUYMON, Okla., May 23, 2011 -- High Plains Bioenergy located in Guymon, Okla., focuses on producing renewable fuels from the Seaboard Foods integrated food production system. The company receives financial support from the USDA Rural Development to research and develop more efficient methods to produce biodiesel.
Biodiesel, a renewable, clean-burning fuel produced from natural oils, such as animal fats or vegetable oils, can be used in any concentration with petroleum-based diesel fuel in diesel engines.
As a subsidiary of Seaboard Foods, High Plains Bioenergy’s biodiesel plant uses animal fats, including pork fat from the Seaboard Foods’ Guymon pork processing plant, and vegetable oils as the base for biodiesel.
The fats and oils go through a chemical process called transesterification which creates two products biodiesel and glycerin, a byproduct used in food, feed, drugs, cosmetics and lubricants.
"The High Plains Bioenergy biodiesel plant is certified by the National Biodiesel Accreditation Commission as a BQ-9000 Producer," said David Eaheart, director of marketing for Seaboard Foods. "BQ-9000 couples the foundation of universally accepted quality management systems with the production specification, ASTM D 6751, and has become the premier quality designation in the biodiesel industry."
The biodiesel plant celebrated its grand opening in April 2008.
"Improving sustainability for rural communities in Oklahoma will ensure a bright economic future for rural Oklahomans and improve their quality of life," said Ryan McMullen, state director for USDA Rural Development.
In addition to environmental sustainability, the plant also contributes to building a sustainable community in Texas County by offering employment opportunities, Eaheart said. Currently, 35 employees work at the biodiesel plant, which has an annual capacity of 30 million gallons.
Community members have the opportunity to purchase cleaner-burning diesel fuel that is blended with biodiesel at local fuel stations for their diesel engines.
Eaheart said the company receives funds from the USDA Rural Development to continue the research and development of more efficient methods to produce high quality biodiesel. Rural Development has invested over $474,600 to these efforts through the Advance Bio-Fuel Payment Program.
The Advance Bio-fuel Payment Program was created by the 2008 Farm Bill. It makes incentive payments to all enrolled producers of "advanced biofuels." These include commercial-quality biodiesel, ethanol made from non-corn-kernel starch feedstock (including cellulosic ethanol), and other types of biofuel and biogas. Payments are intended to encourage the expanding production of these biofuels. In 2011, approximately $85 million will be distributed to eligible entities. Projects funded through the program will enhance the quality of life in rural America.
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