AIC Energy Corporation is developing a soybean crush facility and biorefinery in northwestern North Dakota to produce sustainable aviation fuel.
“We will be using soybeans to fuel the biorefinery and are partnering with North Dakota Farmers Union,” said John Melk, president of the company.
The corporation was awarded $212,000 to assist in developing the 28,000 barrels per day biorefinery at the most recent North Dakota Agricultural Products Utilization Commission (APUC) meeting.
North Dakota Farmers Union is searching for the feedstocks to assist the corporation.
“We trying to help them source the feedstock, which would be soybeans or canola for their crushing facility and soybean oil initially for their biorefinery,” said Mark Watne, president of North Dakota Farmers Union.
When canola is approved at the federal level as a renewable diesel and biofuel, AIC Energy would like to switch to using canola as a feedstock for the biodiesel refinery.
“Canola oil is heavier than soybean oil and you would have more oil per pound, so it would be better as an aviation fuel,” Watne said.
AIC Energy would be marketing its biodiesel aviation fuel to the Department of Defense for jet fuel.
“They are looking for some guaranteed loans and other special monies that have guarantees attached to it,” he said. “They have business plans for both plants, but it will take some time before the plants are constructed.”
Watne said they would start with soybean oil as feedstocks, then move to contracting acres for soybeans and eventually canola.
“We’re in the early stages of talking with companies that could provide them soybean oil to get the biorefinery running,” he said. “Then we would start down that process of contracting with farmers and ranchers to start the crushing facility.”