Iowa ethanol plants produce record 4 billion gallons in 2015
DES MOINES (AP) — An Iowa ethanol industry trade group says the state’s refineries produced more than 4 billion gallons of the corn-based fuel additive this year, a new record. The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association says Iowa provided about 27 percent of the nation’s ethanol. Plants increased production enough to surpass last year’s 3.9 billion gallons by increasing efficiency. Several refineries that make ethanol from corn leaves, stalks and other plant parts also began making the fuel additive. The group’s executive director Monte Shaw says a U.S. Department of Agriculture program that’s helping to install fuel pumps to further distribute higher blends of ethanol than the typical 10 percent is expected to push consumption higher next year.
Iowa, the nation’s leader in renewable fuel production, has 43 ethanol refineries and 12 biodiesel plants. Charles City is home to a Valero Renewables bio refinery. It employs more than 65 full-time personnel, according to the company’s website.