Winthrop, March 14 - Twenty-six high school students toured the Heartland Corn Products ethanol facility in Winthrop today to get a better understanding of renewable fuel production.
The students, from Sibley East High School, toured the various processes of ethanol production at the 108 million-gallon-a-year facility.
“We were pleased to welcome the students from Sibley East High School and provide them with a first-hand look at how clean Minnesota-grown renewable energy is produced,” said Scott Blumhoefer, Vice-President at Heartland Corn Products.
The students, from grades 10 to 12, learned several different components of ethanol production during the tour including incoming grain grading, grain handling, fermentation, grain storage, dried distiller grain production and storage, liquefaction, fermentation and ethanol storage and shipment.
The plant tour was organized by the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association. Heartland Corn Products is a member of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association.
“Today’s visit is part of our annual grant program to schools in Minnesota to tour and learn about ethanol production.
“These tours provide students with a better understanding of how a homegrown renewable ingredient is converted into a clean fuel that has and continues to reduce harmful greenhouse gases,” said Tim Rudnicki, executive director at Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association.
Heartland Corn Products is one of the largest ethanol plants in Minnesota and was built in 1995.
Jeff Eppen, agriculture science teacher at Sibley East High School, accompanied the students.
“We hope this visit will spark an interest for our students to learn about ethanol in the classroom,” he said.
Eppen said it was important for students to get a better understanding of the ethanol industry and how it is produced, adding some former students from Sibley East have been employed at Heartland Corn Products.
“A unique part about agricultural education is the instructor, students and community help decide the curriculum for their school. We as a school have decided that we want biofuels as a part of our Ag education,” he said.