Students tour ADM ethanol plant, learn about biofuel production

By Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association | October 05, 2018

Twenty-two students from Marshall High School recently toured the ADM Corn Processing ethanol plant to get a better understanding of renewable fuel production.

The students, who were from the school’s automotive repair and maintenance class, learned of the various processes of ethanol production at the 50 million gallon-a-year facility.

“We’re delighted to welcome these students to our facility where we transform crops into products that serve the vital needs of a growing world,” said Nick Frank, plant manager. “By getting a first-hand look at our operations, these bright, young minds gain a deeper understanding of how we connect the harvest to the home, making products for food, animal feed, industrial and energy uses.”

The students, from grades nine to 12, were briefed on the various components of ethanol production during the tour. They also visited the facility’s fructose plant, mill and feedhouse and maintenance shop.

The tour was organized by the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association (MN Biofuels) and sponsored by Novozymes, a global microbe and enzyme provider, and supporter of Minnesota’s ethanol industry. ADM Corn Processing and Novozymes are members of MN Biofuels.

ADM Corn Processing has the only wet mill ethanol plant in Minnesota. Other plants in the state use a dry milling process.

In the wet mill process, corn is separated through soaking and then processed through grinders. In the dry mill process, the corn kernel is grinded and mixed with water and enzymes.

“Today’s tour kicked off our Fall 2018 tour program. These tours are part of our annual grant program that enables students to see how a homegrown ingredient is converted into a clean fuel that reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions, saves consumers at the pump and makes us more energy independent,” said Tim Rudnicki, executive director at MN Biofuels.

Michael Braithwaite, agriculture instructor at Marshall High School, accompanied his students during the tour.

He said biofuels are included in the school’s automotive and small engines classes, adding that he often uses videos from the “Fields of Energy” curriculum offered through Minnesota Ag in the Classroom.

“This was a great opportunity for us to get an inside look at a local facility and all the skills that are needed in this field. As the need for renewable energy continues to grow, it will be nice to see what our local community is doing to be on the forefront of this initiative,”Braithwaite said.