Tricounty News

Corn for ethanol, but only the starch please



If you think the entire kernel of field corn is used to make ethanol, think again-only the starch in corn is used to make ethanol. The other parts of the kernel provide corn oil for food and other products and Distillers Grains (a poultry and cattle feed).

"The drought is a heart-breaking and emotionally difficult situation for many farmers, and anyone involved in agriculturally related businesses, but this situation should not be used to turn away from renewable fuels, like ethanol, or to destroy the renewable fuel laws that help support 70,000 jobs in Minnesota and hold down the price of gasoline at the pump," said Tim Rudnicki, executive director of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association. "Misinformation can lead to faulty conclusions and bad decisions, and the notion that somehow a bushel of field corn used for ethanol is removed from the food chain is misplaced. Ethanol production uses the starch. That bushel of corn can be converted into corn oil, 2.8 gallons of ethanol and 17 pounds of nutrient-rich feed for cattle and poultry."

According to Brian Kletscher, Chair of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association, "The drought is especially tough on the agricultural community and biofuel producers, but we have the inventory and banked credits (RINs) to provide renewable fuel and comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard. There is no need to tinker with the RFS because it has the necessary provisions to handle this type of difficult situation caused by the drought."

The Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association represents the renewable fuels industry within the State of Minnesota. MBA explores ways to decrease dependence on petroleum while being mindful of the environment, energy security and the benefits of local economic development.