Claremont, Oct 23 – Seventeen high schools students from Owatonna today toured the Al-Corn Clean Fuel ethanol plant in Claremont to gain a better understanding of renewable fuel production.
The students, from Owatonna Senior High School, toured the various processes of ethanol production at the 50 million gallon-a-year facility.
“We were pleased to welcome the students from Owatonna Senior High School. Science plays a very important role in ethanol production and tours like this give students a first-hand look at how clean Minnesota-grown renewable energy is produced,” said Randall Doyal, chief executive officer at Al-Corn Clean Fuel.
The students, from grades nine to 12, learned several different components of ethanol production during the tour including incoming grain grading, grain handling, water treatment, CO2 production (which is used to carbonate beverages), fermentation, grain storage, dried distiller grain production and storage, ethanol and corn oil storage and shipment.
The plant tour was organized by the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association. Al-Corn Clean Fuel 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.”
“The ethanol industry plays a vital role in Minnesota’s agriculture industry and through these tours, students are given a chance to see and understand the process of converting a homegrown renewable ingredient into clean energy,” said Tim Rudnicki, executive director of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association.
Al-Corn Clean Fuel is a farmer-owned ethanol production cooperative that was built in 1995 and currently has 34 employees. The plant regularly hosts tours of its facilities.
Owatonna Senior High School’s agriculture teacher, Elizabeth Tinaglia, who accompanied her students, said the tour provided her students an opportunity to see alternate energy sources within the agriculture industry.
“The tour will provide students with current research and application of “Going Green” with alternative energy,” she said.
Tinaglia said the school previously visited Al-Corn Clean Fuel five years ago, adding the school's agriculture curriculum includes educating students on renewable energy sources currently being used in the United States such as biofuels, wind and solar and agricultural commodities that can be converted to alternative energy sources.