Durango Telegraph - A look inside San Juan Bioenergy
A look inside San Juan Bioenergy

San Juan Bioenergy has gone to great lengths to create a sustainable production facility just west of Dove Creek.

Sited at the new Weber Industrial Park, the plant is located on land that was cleared 50 years ago and was sized to fit with existing agriculture in the area. Most of the sunflower oil produced by the plant – roughly 1.25 million gallons per year – will be used for food.

In addition, the plant that will be unveiled on Dec. 13 was built to be an “integrated bioenergy facility.” Sunflower hulls, the waste product, will be gasified and then burned in a boiler to produce the heat and electricity needed for the manufacturing process. The process uses the cleanest combustion possible and creates a vast reduction in greenhouse emissions and fossil fuel use.

San Juan Biofuels is in the process of studying future biofuel feedstocks that could provide great quantities of biofuels while maintaining a small carbon and energy footprint. The plant is in active negotiations with waste oil haulers and looking into alternative potential biofuel candidates. Specifically, carbon dioxide emitted from the gasifier flue stack will be used to grow algae in a pilot facility; waste process heat will be used in a greenhouse to cultivate new varieties of oil seeds and potentially high value vegetables. The public is invited to take a look during the grand opening celebration/open house set for Sat., Dec. 13

“We’re beginning these operations next week,” said Jeff Berman, San Juan Biofuels CEO, “and we’re happy to have folks come out and see what we’ve been doing.”

For information, visit www.sanjuanbiofuels.com.

– Will Sands

In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows