Tag Archives: Education

Fueling the Future: A Trip to the Abengoa Bioenergy Ethanol Plant

Dave Hansen, Nebraska Ethanol Board ambassador, takes a class trip to an ethanol plant.

Dave Hansen

My University of Nebraska-Lincoln class took a trip to the Abengoa Bioenergy on Oct. 22, 2015. It was an interesting opportunity to see how the material we are learning in class applies in industrial applications. I enjoyed seeing all of the piping and machinery, and watching the process happen in real time. Visiting the plant gave me a clearer picture of the scale of operations. On paper, it is tough to visualize the size of fermenters, columns and amount of corn that must go into churning out 55 million gallons of ethanol annually.

When we first arrived at Abengoa in York, Nebraska, Dalen Meisinger explained the schematic of the entire process. It was impressive and alarming to see how many different processes comprised the production of ethanol. He also passed around jars of samples of the various products and by-products of manufacturing ethanol. The funniest one was the jar of CO2 which was essentially empty.

I found it interesting that Abengoa was a unique plant in the sense that it repurposed the CO2 to creating carbonate, or carbonic acid, I don’t recall which. The facility that processed the carbon dioxide was on the premise, making it more economically viable and friendlier to the environment.

We toured the facility and enjoyed seeing the different equipment and layout of machines. I was surprised by how big the fermenting tanks were. They were about 3.5 stories tall and had a capacity of about 8 million gallons. Abengoa has four fermenting tanks that are emptied about every 18 hours. The set up at Abengoa gives them the opportunity to clean the tanks in between batches.

It was somewhat chilly that afternoon and you could see the wet grains steaming. They were shoveled by front-end loaders into grain trucks and hauled off to feed livestock nearby. Abengoa receives a lot of corn all day, every day. Yet, Mr. Meisinger noted that if the corn supply stopped they could only function for a few days. That is very tight scheduling.

After the ethanol is finished, a lot of it is shipped out in rail cars. There were about 100 rail cars on site that day. Some of them were used for storage of ethanol – another efficiency in the process. This plant had a lot of recycle, reuse and optimization built into the system. It was a fascinating glimpse into the production of ethanol and gave me a greater appreciation of having ethanol at a gas pump.

Biofuel Education Videos Now Available

LINCOLN, Neb. – New biofuel videos available for education on both the economic and environmental benefits of using renewable biofuels.

The Nebraska Ethanol Board released white board-style biofuel videos starring gruff military man Colonel Korn and modern couple Andy & Sandy. The videos can be viewed on the Nebraska Ethanol Board YouTube Channel: http://ow.ly/TaCk4

“The educational messages embodied in the new videos are an excellent means of communicating the benefits of ethanol to students as well as older adults,” said Todd Sneller, Nebraska Ethanol Board administrator. “They are brief, factual and quicColonel_Kern_Nebraska_Ethanol2kly convey the economic, environment and public health advantages associated with ethanol and other biofuels.”

Colonel Korn takes the audience on a journey through Nebraska’s $5 billion ethanol industry. He shares why American Ethanol is important to the state and the world, discussing exports and co-product use along the way.

Looking to be a good environmental steward, Andy relies on Sandy to explain the benefits of using biofuels to reduce harmful toxics in the air. Sandy shares the air quality benefits of fueling up with American Ethanol and biodiesel.

The new videos will be used throughout the state to inform consumers about the benefits of biofuels. The videos are available to share online, but DVDs also can be requested through the Nebraska Ethanol Board office.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NebraskaEthanolBoard/videos

Website: http://ethanol.nebraska.gov/wordpress/news-media/videos/

YouTube: http://ow.ly/TaCk4


Super Fair Highlights Agriculture Festivities

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska’s No. 1 industry – agriculture – shines during the Lancaster County Super Fair Agriculture Awareness Day Saturday, Aug. 1.

The Nebraska Ethanol Board will be part of the new “Farm to Fork” interactive activity located in the multi-purpose arena kid’s zone from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Children will receive a free Super Fair flying disc, while supplies last, when they go through the “Farm to Fork” activity. Several commodity boards and farm-related sponsors will exhibit giveaways and activities for children.

“This is a great opportunity to experience Nebraska’s ‘Golden Triangle’ in an interactive way,” said Megan Grimes, Nebraska Ethanol Board. “Every bushel of corn used for ethanol also produces more than 17 pounds of distillers grains for livestock feed. It’s a unique synergistic process that strengths ag business in our state.”

The fair’s theme days include different activities, vendors and speakers throughout the 10-day event. For more information on the Lancaster County Super Fair or activities scheduled, visit www.lancastereventcenter.org/super-fair.

Thursday, July 30: Let the Good Times Grow Day

Friday, July 31: Kids & Grandparents Day

Saturday, August 1: Agricultural Awareness Day

Sunday, August 2: Celebrating Champions Day

Monday, August 3: Lancaster County Communities Day

Tuesday, August 4: Armed Forces Appreciation Day

Wednesday, August 5: Good Ol’ Days Day

Thursday, August 6: Health & Safety Day

Friday, August 7: Go Green Day

Saturday, August 8: Cultural Heritage Day