Editor's Note

By Tom Bryan | May 01, 2004
Here in the Midwest, summer is too short to be taken for granted.

Our growing season is brief, and the construction season isn't much longer, so when warm weather rolls around in May, people simply get busy on projects they've been planning all winter. The biofuels industry is much the same way-activity picks up drastically during the summer months.

That is certainly the case in Minnesota, where the Minnesota Soybean Processors has broken ground on a 30-mmgy biodiesel plant near Brewster. The project will utilize a continuous process technology engineered by Minneapolis-based Crown Iron Works, the subject of this issue's cover story, "Crowning Achievements," page 12. Crown is a 125-year-old company with an approach to ag processing that is anything but old-fashioned.

Minnesota isn't the only place biodiesel projects are developing. There's a large-scale project in Illinois gaining momentum this summer, too. Biodiesel Systems LLC, of Madison, Wis., has plans to build in Pekin; the company recently signed a process technology licensing agreement with Agrar Technik of Germany, and has an ambitious plan to build multiple biodiesel plants throughout North America. "German Technology, American Fuel," page 17, will give you a glimpse inside this exciting new partnership.

"Learning Curve," page 24, provides an in-depth look at James Madison University's Fuel Vehicle Program. With the help of program director Carolyn Oglesby, Biodiesel Magazine staff writer Jessica Williams provides an in-depth look at the innovative work they are doing in Virginia.

Finally, California-based freelance writer Louisa Aronow returns again this month with an up-close look at biodiesel developments in Brazil. "Brazil: South America's Harvester of Renewables," page 28, shows us that biodiesel is rapidly being added to Brazil's smorgasbord of alternative fuels. It's the end of autumn down there, but with all the progress they're making, you'd think it were summer. Enjoy the reading.
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