Minneapolis, April 8 – Twenty-two high school students from Minnewaska High School toured Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company (CVEC) on April 5 to gain a better understanding of renewable fuel production.
The students, from grades 9-12, toured the various process of ethanol production at CVEC, which has an annual output of 50 million gallons.
"These tours provide us with the opportunity to show students how Minnesota-produced ethanol displaces harmful greenhouse gas emissions, benefits the local economy and increases our energy independence,” said Chad Friese, CEO of CVEC.
During the tour, the students learned about the different stages in ethanol production including incoming grain grading, grain handling, fermentation, grain storage, dried distiller grain production and storage, ethanol storage and shipment.
The students were from Minnewaska High School’s Natural Resources and Ag Biotechnology classes.
The tour was organized by the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association (MN Biofuels) and sponsored by Novozymes, a global microbe and enzyme provider. Both CVEC and Novozymes are members of MN Biofuels.
“We were pleased to give these students their first ethanol plant tour. Every year, we bring hundreds of students to ethanol plants to learn how clean Minnesota renewable energy is produced,” said Tim Rudnicki, executive director at MN Biofuels.
CVEC commenced operations in 1996 and currently has 50 employees.
Alana Caron, agriculture instructor at Minnewaska High School, said the tour demonstrated the important link between the agriculture and ethanol industries in Minnesota.
“Being from the Midwest, ethanol plants are very popular and are all around this area, I think it is important for students to know what ethanol is as it becomes bigger and continues to be used more in vehicles,” said Caron.