Ethanol plant to be converted

Published 9:46 am Monday, March 28, 2011

By Mark Steil, Minnesota Public Radio News

LUVERNE — A big change is ahead for at least one of Minnesota’s 21 ethanol plants. A Colorado company plans to convert a facility in the southwestern part of the state to another type of alcohol production, one which makes isobutanol.

Gevo will be the first company in the nation to make the product from a renewable source. Its main advantage over ethanol is that it can be sold for more uses.

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At the noisy ethanol plant in Luverne, long stretches of pipes and stainless steel tanks are part of an industrial process that ferments corn into alcohol. After corn flour drops into a slurry tank, it is mixed with water and enzyme.

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