He wants manure

SALEM — A Salem business is hoping to turn dairy waste into automobile fuel.

Diesel Brewing would burn dairy waste to create butanol as a renewable fuel. The company plans to open a pilot plant in Salem by the end of the year that would burn a combination of wood and dairy waste.

"We are hoping for a dual-fuel solution ultimately using a combination of the two wastes," said Diesel Brewing's CEO Jeff Raines. "If for some reason we can't get dairy waste, we can run it on wood waste. ... The focus was to go into a nonfood-based liquid fuel, and this gets rid of some nasty waste."

Diesel Brewing would burn pellets of dairy and wood to make a gas, which would then be made into butanol.

Butanol is a form of alcohol. When it is made from organic waste it is called biobutanol, which can be blended with gasoline for use in automobiles. There also is limited testing on vehicles that use 100 percent biobutanol.

Andy Aden, a senior research engineer with the biomass center at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado, said Diesel Brewing could become the nation's first company to produce butanol using a gasification process.

If it works, the company hopes to build a plant, located near a large dairy, to produce the butanol. The dairy, if in Oregon, would get a $5-per-ton tax credit to supply the manure.

"They would pick it up at the dairy," said Jon Vanden Brink, owner of a dairy in Ione. "A lot of our costs depend on diesel prices, but (dealing with waste) is one of our larger expenses."

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