First of Four Wisconsin Ethanol Plants To Produce This Month

Ethanol will be produced this month from a new 5 million gallon a year plant built by Plover Ethanol over the last six months.

PLOVER, Wisconsin, US, 2002-01-23 [] In Monroe City, construction is continuing of Badger State Ethanol’s US$54 million plant, which broke ground last July after city officials sold the 25-acre site for $1. The plant, which can produce 40 million gallons of ethanol per year, is one of four ethanol plants being built in Wisconsin, including Plover, Gilman and Spring Green, the first such ethanol production plants in the state since the 1980’s. Plover Ethanol, a private company, is finishing its new Wisconsin facility, which began construction last August. After a heat exchanger is put into service, it will begin producing ethanol from a variety of feedstocks. The plant was originally designed to process two million bushels a year of corn seed into the synthetic fuel, but now it will also use cheese whey and potato waste feedstocks. Situated in a region of dairy and cheese plants, Plover intends to capitalize on its location by accepting cheese whey, a by-product of cheese processing, and producing an additional three million gallons a year of alcohol using waste heat from the main plant. Additional equipment, such as an expanded distillation system, will be added to accommodate the increased throughput. The plant will have the competitive advantage of using low-cost industry by-products as feedstock, instead of higher-price corn. When the plant begins commercial operation, local cheese-makers will have an alternative to disposing of their whey on farm fields, an environmentally questionable practice. The Renewable Fuels Association in Washington, says 60 ethanol plants are operating in the U.S., half of which are owned by farmers, with a dozen under construction and more in development.
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