Ethanol plant tour for workshop group

What’s the next step after making your own ethanol? Teachers attending the Nebraska Corn Board-sponsored STEM in Ag workshop were able to tour the E Energy ethanol plant in Adams and get the large scale perspective! Lab manager Mark Gouthro talked to the group about the plant’s production process, where over 105 millions gallons of ethanol are produced annually.

The plant, built in 2007, employs about 52 people. All corn processed at the plant is brought in locally. Trucks usually deliver about 1000 bushels of corn. The corn is dried to an acceptable moisture level, if necessary, and then ground. Machinery there can grind 4100 lbs of corn per minute.

Water and yeast are added to the ground corn, which is then sent to fermentation tanks for about 55 hours. This is the longest step in the entire process which takes about 60 hours. Co-products from corn include ethanol, distillers grains used in animal feed, corn oil, and carbon dioxide.

The teachers enjoyed the tour, and several plan to bring their students out to see the production facility.