Minneapolis, April 23 – Forty-seven students from Pierz Healy High School toured Central Minnesota Renewables (CMR) in Little Falls yesterday to learn more about clean Minnesota-produced renewable chemicals.
“We were pleased to welcome Pierz Healy High School to our plant to learn about locally produced bio-based chemicals. Tours like this are an opportunity for students to engage with our employees on the facility’s production processes and to highlight renewable chemical’s many benefits,” said Jonathan Olmscheid, VP of Finance at CMR.
CMR produces renewable chemicals such as acetone and n-butanol from corn and has a 45 percent greater carbon efficiency during production in comparison to petroleum-based chemicals.
During the tour, the students visited CMR’s administrative office, energy center, fermentation, distillation, laboratory operations, control room, protein and fiber storage, incoming grain handling and storage and chemical loadout areas.
The students, from grades 10 to 12, were from Pierz Healy High School’s agriculture business and natural resource classes.
CMR’s renewable chemicals are used as raw materials in many consumer products such as Kingsford GreenFlame charcoal lighter fluid, Beauty Secrets acetone nail polish remover, paints, adhesives and coatings.
The tour was organized by the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association (MN Biofuels), a non-profit trade organization that represents the ethanol and renewable chemical industries in Minnesota. CMR is a member of MN Biofuels.
“It’s important for students to learn about clean, Minnesota-produced renewable chemicals and how they reduce harmful emissions and support the local economy,” said Tim Rudnicki, executive director of MN Biofuels.
Pat Tax, who teaches agriculture at Pierz Healy High School, said her students had learned about fermentation processes prior to today’s tour.
“I want the students to understand that we are trying to mitigate our dependence on foreign sources for energy and to see that their crops are helping, plus a look at how renewable chemicals are processed,” Tax said.