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Minnesota State Mankato Students Tour Guardian Energy

  • Thursday, 11 October 2018 13:34


JANESVILLE, Oct 11 – Students from Minnesota State University, Mankato toured Guardian Energy today to gain a better understanding of renewable energy production. 

The students, who were from the university’s Biological Engineering Analysis class, toured the various processes of ethanol production at Guardian Energy, which produces 150 million gallons of ethanol a year.

"We appreciate Minnesota State Mankato bringing their students to our facility to learn more about biofuels and the environmental benefits they provide as a source of fuel. Ethanol produced here in Janesville creates rural jobs opportunities, supports our local farm economy and promotes our collective energy independence," said Jeanne McCaherty, CEO of Guardian Energy.

The tour was organized by the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association (MN Biofuels). Guardian Energy is a member of MN Biofuels.

“Tours like this are an occasion for students to learn about the pivotal role science and engineering plays in ethanol production and explore potential career prospects,” said Tim Rudnicki, executive director at MN Biofuels.

The students toured several different components of ethanol production including incoming grain grading, grain handling, liquefaction, fermentation, distillation, distiller grain drying, corn oil separation, product storage and product shipment.

The students were accompanied by the University’s Biotechnology Program director, Gregg Marg.

“Minnesota State Mankato uses the motto ‘Big ideas. Real-world thinking.’ This experience demonstrates how the students’ classroom knowledge translates into real-world impact. Before this visit, students thought a 1-liter bioreactor was large.  Now they understand what industrial scale and impact are all about,” Marg said.

Prior to the tour, he said his class had learned the basics about renewable fuel production and industrial scale bioprocesses and that they were interested in learning about the latest process improvements within the industry.

Marg added that following this tour, his class will explore food fermentations, brewing, pharmaceutical production, amino acid production, enzyme production and even the biological treatment of wastewater.