January 09, 2009

Corn Plus Ethanol Plant Trading Carbon Credits

There is a really good article in the Mankato Free Press about Corn Plus. Corn Plus is one of the ethanol producers that I admire for the fact that they have gone to great lengths to make their operation more efficient.

The net effect of all their efforts to reduce fossil fuel use and emissions has allowed them to enter the carbon credit trading market. Under the program companies pledge to meet certain emissions reductions targets and if they reduce emissions enough they gain credits that they can sell.

Corn Plus has been able to reduce the amount of fossil fuels used in the production of ethanol at their Winnebago, MN facility by burning the concentrated syrup leftover after ethanol production in a fluidized bed reactor which cut natural gas usage by about 52%. They also installed two 2.1 megawatt wind turbines that provide 40 to 50 percent of the electricity the plant needs.

On top of saving money and giving Corn Plus a more reliable energy costs, these steps have also created about 40,000 tons worth of emissions credits potentially worth hundreds of thousands of dollars for Corn Plus to trade.

Although not mentioned in the article, Corn Plus is also known to me for their work in testing a microwave drying process that has the potential to cut energy usage during the drying of the distillers grains by about 20%. The process was developed by Cellencor Corporation and was tested at the Corn Plus facility earlier in 2008.

Source : Mankato Free Press

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