The State Senate votes to let the state give grants to farmers who can turn beans into cleaner-burning diesel fuel. The versatile soybean is the key to making biodiesel fuel. The Senate has advanced a bill letting the state make grants to farmer groups establishing biodiesel plans that will squeeze the oil out of soybeans, producing a glycerine that can be put into diesel fuel. Just a couple percent could mean much cleaner diesel emissions. Senate sponsor John Cauthorn says it’s a fuel of tomorrow. Cauthorn says the new fuel will reduce diesel particulate matter in the air by half. Another Senator recalls a prediction by the man who invented the diesel engine, that the day would come when vegetable oil would replace petroleum and coal products in meeting energy needs. He recalled Rudolf Diesel made that prediction in 1912. Cauthorn says tomorrow might soon be arriving in Missouri-that farmers are close to building the first biodiesel plant in the state.
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