Ethanol

Ethanol
Ethanol is a chemical produced by the fermentation of sugars found in grains and other biomass. Ethanol can be produced from a number of different types of grains, such as corn, wheat and sorghum, as well as from agricultural waste products such as rice hulls, cheese whey, potato waste, brewery and beverage wastes and forestry and paper wastes. At present, the majority of ethanol in the U.S. is produced from corn because corn contains large quantities of carbohydrates and is in greater supply than other grains. Such carbohydrates convert into glucose more easily than most other kinds of biomass.

Green Plains was formed in June 2004 to construct and operate dry mill, fuel-grade ethanol production plants. Ethanol is a renewable, environmentally clean fuel source that is produced at numerous facilities in the United States, mostly in the Midwest. In the U.S., ethanol is produced primarily from corn and then blended with unleaded gasoline in varying percentages. The ethanol industry in the U.S. has grown significantly over the last few years as its use reduces harmful auto emissions, enhances octane ratings of the gasoline with which it is blended, offers consumers a cost-effective choice, and decreases the amount of crude oil the U.S. needs to import from foreign sources. Ethanol is most commonly sold as E10, the 10 percent blend of ethanol for use in all American automobiles. Increasingly, ethanol is also available as E85, a higher percentage ethanol blend for use in flexible fuel vehicles.

Operations commenced at our first ethanol plant, located in Shenandoah, IA, in late August 2007; the next ethanol plant, located in Superior, IA, commenced operations in July 2008; the third ethanol plant to come online is located in Bluffton, IN, and began producing ethanol in September 2008; our next ethanol plant to begin production is located in Obion, TN and had its first grind in November 2008. On July 2, 2009, we acquired two ethanol plants located in Nebraska. The plants are located in Central City and Ord and add 150 million gallons of ethanol production capacity per year. On October 22, 2010, we acquired two plants located in Riga, MI and Lakota, IA and on March 24, 2011 acquired a plant in Fergus Falls, MN. We acquired our tenth plant in Atkinson, NE in June 2013. In November 2013 we acquired plants in Wood River, NE and Fairmont, MN. At capacity, our 12 ethanol plants produce a total of approximately 1.0 billion gallons of fuel-grade ethanol annually, making Green Plains the fourth largest ethanol producer in North America.

To contact our Ethanol Plants, email plants@gpreinc.com.

Ethanol Fact Book