On September 29 a large worldwide corn processing company-Tate and Lyle—held a groundbreaking ceremony and began construction on its ethanol refinery near Fort Dodge, Iowa. The corn wet mill, the first new wet mill built in the U.S. in more than a decade, will process 150,000 bushels of corn each day into over 100 million gallons of ethanol per year.
In addition to ethanol, the plant will produce industrial starches for use in the U.S. paper industry. Once operational, the facility will employ 110 people. Tate & Lyle announced it will use new proprietary technologies that reduce the cost of building and operating a wet mill. "Corn fields today will be the oil fields of the future," stated CEO Iain Ferguson to the assembled crowd including Iowa Lt. Governor Sally Pederson and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Patty Judge.
Breakthrough in corn wet milling
"This is an exciting breakthrough in wet mill technology and a major addition to Iowa's ethanol industry," said Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. "If all goes well, the plant could be doubled in size. I think this is a great example of the innovation and technical advancement that is taking place in the corn-to-ethanol industry. We've just scratched the surface on potential efficiencies."
Iowa is the leader in renewable fuels production. Currently, Iowa has 25 ethanol refineries with the capacity to produce nearly 1.6 billion gallons annually. There are 11 ethanol refineries under construction or expansion that will add 775 million gallons of annual capacity.
In addition, Iowa has 14 biodiesel refineries with a combined annual capacity of over 315 million gallons either in operation or under construction. Many additional renewable fuels projects are under development.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent Iowa's ethanol and biodiesel producers. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development. For information go to www.IowaRFA.org.