Missouri Biodiesel Plant Reopens Under New Name

John Davis

There’s new life for a biodiesel plant in Southeast Missouri.

This article from Cape Girardeau’s Southeast Missourian
says the former Great River Soy Processing Plant in Lilbourn has been reborn as ME Bio Energy LLC after being idled for the last three years:

After producing the first batch, the plant shut down to send a sample to the Environmental Protection Agency for inspection before opening for full production.

Since reopening, about 14,000 gallons of fuel goes through the processing line daily, said Jerry McDowell, plant manager. Biodiesel is made through a chemical process called transesterification in which glycerin is separated from fat or vegetable oil. The process leaves behind two products — methyl esters, which is the chemical name for biodiesel, and glycerin, a byproduct usually sold for use in soaps and other products.

Production at ME Bio Energy went into full swing in early July, McDowell said.

“We’re just starting to pick up with our deliveries,” he said. “The plant is averaging two trucks a day delivering supplies, and two trucks a day picking up the product.”

The plant will refine a 50-50 mix of animal fat and soybean oil into biodiesel.