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Company evolves to meet challenges

Posted: Wednesday, Dec 26th, 2012

Pictured above is a beaker containing raw corn oil, which looks vastly different from the very refined, clear-yellow oil that is sold in stores. This raw oil is refined by IRE machines, separated, sold and distributed throughout the world.

ROCHELLE — In an effort to evolve with the constant changes and challenges within a $50 billion industry, Rochelle’s Illinois River Energy ethanol plant began producing and industrial corn oil on Nov. 27.

This corn oil byproduct, which is derived from the company’s ethanol-making process, can now be sold as biodiesel or a high-fat, high-energy animal feed to local farmers for cattle or pigs, thanks to the company’s recent $3.3 million investments adding a valuable co-product for the plant. The corn oil is centrifuged out a stream in the ethanol process that produces dried distiller grains with solubles (DDGS); slightly reducing the volume of DDGS the company exports through Global 3.

General Manager of Illinois River Energy, Neal Jakel, said that the corn that the plant purchases is grown within a 40-mile radius, with half of it coming from farmers and the other half from grain bins. Half of the companies in the ethanol market are now producing this DDGS byproduct. He also noted that each bushel of corn used in the ethanol production process is generated into nutrient-rich livestock feed and returns 1/3 of the bushel back to the local farming market from which it is produced.

For the complete article see the 12-23-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 12-23-2012 paper.

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