Milwaukee as a biodiesel hub?

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting Innovation Fuels Company has purchased the old Shell Oil terminal at the Port of Milwaukee, with plans to use the terminal for distributing biodiesel and other renewable fuels in the Midwest. Here’s a photo of the terminal in question:

Photo courtesy of Innovation Fuels Co.

According to Innovation Fuels Company’s website, the company is developing biodiesel using non-edible pennycress, which would provide a sustainable source of biodiesel without driving up the market for products like soybeans, which are commonly used to make biodiesel. What’s more, in 2008 the company began shipping its biodieself from a refinery in New York’s harbor to Europe, and Innovation Fuels Company recently acquired North American Biodiesel, a company that was founded two years ago for the purpose of developing a biodiesel production facility in Milwaukee. According to IFC’s website, the Milwaukee location provides Innovation Fuels with direct, deep-water international access via leasehold at the Port of Milwaukee.

There’s no disputing biofuels are still an emerging market, and that until our nation’s infrastructure catches up, it won’t come into widespread use here in the U.S., but just imagine…the United States as an exporter of energy – in this case biodiesel – as opposed to being an importer of energy in the form of petroleum. It’s a radical concept, but our nation as an exporter of energy resources would certainly be a dramatic (and welcome) shift from the status quo.


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