PO Box 1146
Salida, CO USA  81201
(719) 539-0300
Fax: (719) 539-0301


BBI International... Your Biofuels Resource


Event Calendar

World Biofuels Symposium
November 13-15, 2005
Beijing, China

2nd Annual Canadian Renewable Fuels Summit
December 13-15, 2005
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Hosted by:
Candadian Renewable Fuels Association

National Biodiesel Conference & Expo 2006
February 5-8, 200
San Diego, California
National Biodiesel Board

11th Annual National Ethanol Conference: "Policy & Marketing"
February 20-22, 200
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Sponsored by:
Renewable Fuels Association

22nd Annual International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo
June 20-23, 200
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Join our
Email Subscription List

Select your topics of interest for regular and timely updates - control your subscriptions and unsubscribe anytime

Complete Listing of Upcoming Events

Event History

Free Booklet Download:
Fuel Ethanol: A Technological Evolution



Posted on  

August 6, 2002

Ethanol plant a boon to Kansas farmers


RUSSELL, Kan. - On the northern edge of town, there's an aroma of fresh yeast around the new ethanol plant. To some it smells like a distillery; others sniff the sweet smell of success.

Success, because since production started in October, the U.S. Energy Partners plant has given a needed boost with jobs and the buying of tons of grain sorghum, most of it purchased from area farmers.

"Since the plant started, about 75 percent of our milo goes there," said Bill Burton, manager of the Agco Inc. elevator within sight of the plant. "It's nice to have a market like that in your back yard."

Just about any starch will do, and much of the nation's ethanol is made from corn. But grain sorghum, or milo, is the crop of choice here since Kansas is the nation's top producer of the grain.

"The majority of milo comes from this area," said plant manager Ron Dunbar. "You want to build the plant where the grain is grown."

Russell once laid claim as an oil boomtown with prairies south of town dotted with wellheads. But it also has seen hard times. It suffered from the oil bust in the 1980s and two years ago lost its biggest private employer.

"What we have going on here is another boom," Dunbar said. "We are going to continue to expand out."

He said the ethanol plant and adjoining wheat gluten plant it operates account for 61 jobs. The plant has already expanded its capacity from 25 million to 40 million gallons a year.

"It contributes a lot to the community and has had an impact on the businesses in town. Most of the money stays in the area," said Sandra Wood, Russell County economic development director.

That's not just limited to the Russell area, said Connie Fischer, director of the state agriculture marketing division.

"It's one of the things that can contribute to a healthy rural economy," she said. "It won't save rural Kansas, but it will help in keeping those communities vital."

The Russell plant is one of five in the state, and Fischer said the ethanol industry is likely to grow in Kansas.

"The state is working with five to seven groups seriously looking at ethanol production," she said. "They are either in a feasibility study phase or looking for investors."

At the Russell plant recently, dozens of loaded grain trucks lined up to be weighed and have their load dumped into silos to await its turn to become what many call the fuel of the future.

With its capacity to make 40 million gallons of ethanol per year, that means the plant needs 27,000 bushels of grain sorghum each day for its round-the-clock operation.

"Once a plant gets established you see the price of grain go up 5 to 10 cents a bushel," he said. "We have got a ready market for the farmers at a good price."

At its most basic, ethanol is 200-proof alcohol and is made pretty much the same way as bourbon.

Grain is mixed with water and enzymes to break the starch into sugar so it will ferment. The mixture is then distilled and the alcohol stripped away.

"It's a big still. That's exactly what we are doing up to a point," Dunbar said.

That point is the federal government's requirement that the ethanol be treated so people can't drink it.

Waste isn't part of the vocabulary of ethanol production.

Earlier this year, the company reopened the wheat gluten plant next door, where leftover starch is used for ethanol production. Even the used grain sorghum is sold as a high-protein feed for cattle.

"We are using everything we possibly can," Dunbar said.

Ethanol boosters see it as a growth industry.

"As the desire for clean air grows, so will the demand for ethanol, as well as the fact that our demand for gasoline grows," said Greg Krissek of the Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association.

He said ethanol will help reduce dependence on foreign oil because typically it's mixed 10 percent ethanol to 90 percent gasoline.

"Anytime you have more ethanol in the mix, it will go further with the consumers," Krissek said.


Other News

Click here to see previously posted News items in our Archive

BBI Store

BBI International
Project Development

Multi Client Study:

More information and contents

BBI Online Store


Biodiesel Industry Directory Online:
View it FREE!


Home | Company Info | International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Trade Show | Biofuels Recruiting | BBI Media

Biofuels Project Development - Biofuels Conference & Event Planning - BBI Media - Biofuels Recruiting

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner.
Remainder of content Copyright © 2005 BBI International.