The students, all 12th graders, were briefed on the various processes of ethanol production at Heron Lake Bioenergy, which produces 63 million gallons of ethanol a year.
“It’s important for students to get a better understanding of how Minnesota-grown ethanol is produced,” said Brodie McKeown, plant manager at Heron Lake Bioenergy.
During the tour, the students covered incoming grain grading, grain handling, fermentation, grain storage, dried distiller grain production and storage, liquefaction and ethanol storage and shipment.
The tour was organized by the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association, a non-profit trade organization that represents the ethanol industry in Minnesota.
“Ethanol is a clean fuel that continues to reduce harmful greenhouse gases and boosts the economy in rural Minnesota,” said Tim Rudnicki, executive director of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association.
Deb Martin, agriculture instructor at Worthington High School, accompanied her students at the tour to Heron Lake Bioenergy.
“This field trip provided an opportunity for students to learn how ethanol is made, its impact on the environment and career opportunities available in the ethanol industry,” she said.