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Midwest Renewable Biofuels seeks votes for $250,000 grant

Published: Monday, Nov. 4, 2013 11:05 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Nov. 4, 2013 11:17 a.m. CDT
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To qualify for the final stages of the grant selection process, Midwest Renewable Biofuels will have to gain at least 250 votes on the Mission Main Street Grants website at www.MissionMainStreetGrants.com/business/detail/94130, using Facebook Connect. The voting deadline for the grant process is Nov. 15, after which a panel of experts will review all of the applications and make 12 awards of $250,000.

Midwest Renewable Biofuels, a Prairie City company, has applied for a Mission Main Street grant and is seeking community support.

The renewable fuels firm is responsible for collecting used cooking oil from around the Midwest, with a collection range that includes Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and Illinois. After collection, the oil is used as a feedstock in biodiesel production.

While the firm is educating itself on the production processes for biodiesel, at this point it is more cost effective for it to sell its oil to the Ames-based biodiesel producer, Renewable Energy Group. Now the company is hoping to expand its base of operations with a $250,000 grant from Chase.

“Our goal is to have a facility ready next year that will allow us to handle 500,000 to 1 million gallons of waste vegetable oil a year,” Operations Manager Joe Kooker said.

With vegetable oil having close to a 1:1 conversion rate to biodiesel, and the most common biodiesel blend being 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent traditional diesel, that could enable Midwest Renewable Biofuels to assist in putting up to 5 million gallons of biodiesel into the market each year.

“Midwest Renewable is striving to grow by expanding our facility and getting more trucks on the road and in turn servicing more customers,” Kooker said. “Receiving this grant would be an unbelievable opportunity to ensure the work of this business continues in the Midwest.”

To qualify for the final stages of the grant selection process, Midwest Renewable Biofuels will have to gain at least 250 votes on the Mission Main Street Grants website at www.MissionMainStreetGrants.com/business/detail/94130, using Facebook Connect. The voting deadline for the grant process is Nov. 15, after which a panel of experts will review all of the applications and make 12 awards of $250,000.

The 12 grant recipients will be announced as early as January.

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