Minneapolis, Mar 9 – A group of graduate students from the University of Minnesota toured Guardian Energy in Janesville yesterday to get a deeper understanding of ethanol production.
The students, from the university’s Renewable Energy Technologies and Food Engineering classes, toured the various processes of ethanol production at Guardian Energy, which produces 130 million gallons of ethanol a year.
“We are always happy to give tours of our manufacturing plant and talk about the benefits corn-based ethanol brings to our community, consumers, local producers, and the environment. We appreciate the university bringing their students to our site to learn more about our processes, products, and the role of ethanol as a renewable feedstock in our nations fuel supply chain,” said Jeanne McCaherty, CEO of Guardian Energy.
The tour was organized by the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association. Guardian Energy is a member of Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association.
“We generally bring high school students to visit ethanol plants, which makes yesterday’s tour a pleasant change. There’s a lot that university students can learn about homegrown energy from an ethanol plant,” said Tim Rudnicki, executive director of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association.
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 department of bioproducts and biosystems engineering professor, Dr Roger Ruan.
“The ethanol plant tour will enhance the students’ awareness about renewable biofuels and improve their active learning experience,” Ruan said.
Prior to the tour, he said the students had learned about the basic process of ethanol production, heat transfer and fluid flow.
Ruan added that some of the students that participated in the tour are interested in pursuing careers in the biofuels industry.