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One of Largest Biodiesel Plants To Be Built in Indiana

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels announced that Louis Dreyfus Agriculture Industries plans to build one of the world’s largest biodiesel plants yet near Claypool, Indiana. Daniels made the announcement during his remarks at the 2nd National Agriculture/Forestry Renewable Energy Summit in Washington, DC.

With this facility—which will ultimately produce up to 250,000 gallons of biodiesel per day, or more than 80 million gallons per year—two other biodiesel and six ethanol plants currently under construction, Indiana will become a leading producer in the biofuels industry.

Several firms in Malaysia are planning palm-biodiesel plants with annual outputs of 300,000 tonnes—about 90 million gallons per year. (Earlier post.)

It’s been a hectic year of dramatic progress in renewable fuels development in our state. If Indiana can do this, think what America can do to work toward energy self-sufficiency. In just one year, we’re growing from one alternative fuels plant to nine, with more to come. We said our ag sector would be a big part of our economic comeback, and here’s the proof.

—Governor Daniels

Indiana is the fifth-largest corn state and the fourth-largest soybean state. With the facilities under construction, the state will produce an additional 400 million gallons of ethanol annually and 95 million gallons of biodiesel (including Louis Dreyfus). Indiana’s goal is to produce a combined 1 billion gallons of ethanol and biodiesel annually.

Louis Dreyfus will build the project in two phases. The first will be a 50-million bushel per year soybean processing plant, and the second phase will be the biodiesel production facility. The plant will utilize Indiana soybeans.

Upon completion, the Louis Dreyfus facility will be one of the first biodiesel production plants to be fully integrated with a soybean processing plant. About 260,000 metric tons of soybean oil from the plant will be used each year for biodiesel production. In addition, 1 million tons of protein-rich soybean meal produced each year will be used by the livestock and poultry industry.



Does anybody know, how hard it is to convert soy based biodiesel plant to other feedstacks? Be it, jetropha, musturd seed, or rapeseed.

fred dzlsabe

You go, Hoosiers! Rod,Pat, attention! Here in Illinois, home to Caterpillar, John Deere, International we seem to be asleep at the switch...or dizzy from the ethanol fumes.


Didn't we just have two posts in the past two weeks where the university of oregon and a company in Utah found a cheaper way to make biodiesel. Is Indiana going to use any of that technology?


This is great! This plant alone would more than double 2005's 75 million gallons nationwide. This plant would produce about 6000 barrels per day, which is what a decent oil well would produce, I think.

We'll hit a billion gallons per year in a few years at this rate!

Robert Schwartz

The Louis-Dreyfus company is run by the father of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Elaine of the Seinfeld Show, and controlled by their family. Forbes says that he is worth $3.2 Billion.


That's not important.

But it is certainly nice to know.


As I said back a year ago once the tech proves profitable massive amounts of money pours in and he shear amount of capacity that can be built quickly is mind boggling.

Even this is just one small section of a huge army of people pondering when and where to invest in new fuels. The total budget likely will run 50-100 trillion bucks.

fred dzlsabe

So Robert...what the F is your point? He's willing to put his money where so many others won't? I don't see the Carlyle Group steppin up. Please...feel free!

Rafael Seidl

W2 -

you can use just about any triglyceride to produce a type of biodiesel. This includes waste oil and grease from restaurants. However, different oils and fats have different fatty acid chains, leading to small but significant differences in fuel quality. Any fuel sold as diesel in the US - whether pure or a blend - must satisfy the ASME specification or it may damage vehicle engines.

The human olfactory system is sensitive of partially oxidized fatty acids, i.e. HC and PM emissions from biodiesel can sometimes create an exhaust odor problem.

Because it is composed of acids, biodiesel is also a more agressive medium than mineral diesel for the components of the fuel system. In particular, elastomer hoses and seals are vulnerable. If you own a diesel vehicle and are looking to switch to a fuel containing biodiesel, you should first make sure that your vehicle will nto be adversely affected.


Blends up to ~5% are known to be compatible with regular fuel systems deployed in the EU. This is why it has opted for mild but mandatory blending of all diesel fuel with biodiesel (2% in 2005, 5.75% in 2010). The ramp-up is based simply on biodiesel availability. Meanwhile, carmakers can fit more resilient fuel system components into new vehicles such that the number of old vehicles requiring retrofits will stay low even if the blend fraction is increased in the future. It also gives the chemical industry time to develop better additives - without them, higher blends could clog fuel filters in severe cold weather.

Pure biodiesel is only used in summer and in environmentally highly sensitive contexts, e.g. as chainsaw oil in the logging industry.


There are also specially modified engines that can burn straight plant oils meeting a draft specification. The main advantage is that you avoid the expensive transesterification step and, you don't end up with a glut of glycerin on the market.

Robert Schwartz

"So Robert...what the F is your point?"

Well, I always liked Elaine.

I think it is cool that Julia went and had a very busy career despite her background.

Julia graduated from the Northwestern U Theater Department, from which my daughter also graduated (a generation later).

And it is just sort of interesting in a celebrity trivia sort of way.

You have got to learn to relax, Fred. The arteries cannot take the constant pounding from all of that adrenaline.

Robert Schwartz

Article about Julia in today's NYTimes:

Trying to Turn Elaine Into Christine

J Martin

I am fascinated by the increased interest in Bio Fuels, but seldom see much mention of how they will impact food prices. How much land mass would it require for us to replace oil with Bio? Any numbers out there?


If we are going to use biofuels, might they be more efficiently used in power plants, ideally to be combined with the cogeneration of home heating?

I keep thinking back to the California study (sorry, don't have reference) that showed that the net greenhouse emissions from a PHEV and electric were less than any fuel used, including ethanol and biodiesel.

This would be true even if you used a coal fired plant (which I'd like to see phased out unless they can sequester CO2). Assuming that's true, wouldn't the use of biofuels for power be even better?

As far as biodiesel, there is still the concern with respect to food prices. But that's part of the point, isn't it? Agribusiness doesn't get these subsidies for nothing.

An Engineer

Right on, t!
Agricultural subsidies have all the following benefits to you tax payers:
1. Cheaper food.
2. Cheaper sweetener, i.e. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).
3. Suddenly all foods are sweetened, since subsidised HFCS is so cheap.
4. Suddenly you struggle to keep the pounds off. Why? All that sweetened food! Go on, read the label. HFCS is pretty much everywhere.
5. Your quality of life goes South, thanks to the extra pounds.
6. Your life may be shortened drastically, due to the extra pounds.
7. Somewhere in the third world a farmer goes bankrupt because he cannot compete with the cheap imported food from US and EU.
8. Somewhere in the third world an idol ex-farmer takes up terrorism, just to fill in those idol hours...

Nice to see your tax dollars at work, isn't it?


Ya, Clinton gave a speech last week at Governor's meeting where he talked about
HFCS, but avoid any talk of subsidy and/or banning it. Incidentally HFCS is banned in Canada. Canadian Coke has real sugar. Try it, taste is so much better.


I wonder if HFCS is related to SUV use. Bigger people, bigger cars? Well, that's my wife's theory anyway.

Ms. Perry

Does anyone know specifically in Claypool where this plant is going to be located? I am looking at purchasing lake property there and am curious if I will be within "noseshot" of the plant. Logic tells me it will be near major roads and rails, but not necessarily.I have spent hours online trying to find out, but have come up with nothing more than "southwest of claypool" I look at GeoSurvey maps from the county and have a few guesses where it could be, but still want to know for sure.

Teresa L McNew

where exactly are all of the plants going to be built in Indiana?



My company is looking to build 1 or 2 plants (preferably in the US but not required). We like the idea of agriprocessing / biodiesel / other all in one plant. Better for us and others as well. I haven't been able to find good engineering companies willing to quote on how much to cost to build. We're going to be funded sometime this month and this would really help our case. comments appreciated.


About the comments regarding farm subsidies and corn by-products in everything making us fat. It isn't written in stone that this will continue. I wrote a blog about it on my blogsite called "Farmland Bill 2007." I also wrote that every voter in America can contact their congress people to change the Farm Bill that hasn't been decided yet as of September 24, 2007. CNN's Dr. Gupta has presented series after series on the drastic changes we need to make to the same stale, on-going Farm Bill of the last 2 decades. If you can make remarks about it in a blog, they you can just as easily drop an e-mail to your congress people. If they get enough people dropping in, they know the country is watching and interested in something that has only been of interest to the agricultural industry for years.

There is already a push to allow a greater percentage of farming for fruits and vegetables. There is also an idea that subsidies be replaced with awards for good stewardship of the land by farmers, meaning rotating crops and allowing a portion of their land to be used for wind or solar energy.

I am glad to see blogs all around that finally someone is noticing. Good Job. But to be successful, don't just blog, get people to complain to congress. I've witnessed the power of numbers for change, and also the power of the pen. The two together creates movement. We need to progress to a cleaner future or suffer horribly down the road.

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