South Bend chosen to open second biorefinery in North America


SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Biofuel and technology company Verbio is set to begin construction on South Bend's ethanol plant, converting it into an integrated biorefinery, only the second one to exist in North America.

"We are excited about Verbio's expansion plans and their impact on our regional economy," said South Bend Mayor James Mueller. "As an industry leader in renewable natural gas production, Verbio will bring new life to the ethanol plant with cutting-edge green technology that will add to South Bend's clean energy portfolio.”

The company says the strategy behind its biorefinery is to maximize sustainability and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) efficiency in biofuel production and that the process is based on the closed loop system and the use of the whole crop to produce biofuels.

The company's biorefinery in Iowa is the world’s first industrial-scale example of a combined biomethane, bioethanol and organic fertilizer plant.

The first phase of production is set to take place over the next six months, with additions including eight new digesters, the construction of several new buildings, and new processing equipment.

“Our business is focused on the sustainable use of all materials in a complex production process,” says Verbio CEO Claus Sauter. “The technology approach we are applying integrates bioethanol and RNG production in a unique way. Through this, we create climate-friendly products in an energy and CO2 efficient way.”

Commercial production is set to begin in 2026.

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