Bio-Engineering Firm Wants To Put Bio-Refinery In Sioux County

Orange City, Iowa — A bio-engineering firm from Des Moines is interested in building a bio-refinery in Sioux County. The bio-refinery would turn biomass into a flammable gas.
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Ecoengineers, a private consulting firm and project developer from the Des Moines area presented their proposal to the Sioux County Board Of Supervisors this week, according to Sioux County Auditor Lois Huitink. She says the firm had previously done a study of biomass sources in Iowa, and Sioux County was identified as the richest source of biomass in northwest Iowa.

Now, Ecoengineers wants to do a study to find the best place in Sioux County for such a facility. They said that their study would probably focus on three areas: the old Bison Energy plant north of Sioux Center on Highway 75 and/or the Agropur wastewater plant near Hull; the Sioux Center and Orange City waste treatment plants, and a central location near a high number of confined animal feedlots.

Ecoengineers have asked Sioux County to pay for the study, which is projected to cost $33,000.

Huitink says her understanding is that Ecoengineers wants to build bio-digesters that can turn biomass into biogas, which could be returned to the gas system.

She says the board did not act on the request, but would prefer that Ecoengineers come back and tell them more about their plans before making a decision. No date for such a meeting has been set at this time.

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