Iowa ethanol producer Green Plains Inc. is the latest to donate ethanol to the state of Iowa for its hand sanitizer production project with Iowa Prison Industries (IPI).
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) reports that Green Plains Inc. donated 5,000 gallons this week, following recent donations of ethanol from Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy and Absolute Energy and a donation of glycerin by Western Iowa Energy. IPI has already produced over 10,000 gallons of hand sanitizer and is producing approximately 4,500 gallons a week.
“It’s incredible to watch this project grow as Iowa ethanol producers continue to step up to fight the spread of COVID-19,” said IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “Given the hurdles that initially stood in the way of the success of this project, we are proud to see Iowans coming together to help however they can. We applaud Governor Reynolds and Iowa Prison Industries for working to make this production of hand sanitizer possible.”
Governor Kim Reynolds launched the program last month to leverage Iowa’s ample production of ethanol and glycerin, a coproduct of biodiesel, in the effort to relieve the national hand sanitizer shortage. Her office and IPI worked through regulatory and supply challenges to secure other necessary ingredients for FDA’s approved hand sanitizer formula and launch the production. The hand sanitizer IPI produces is being distributed for free by the state for priority use in locations such as the Iowa Veterans Home and DHS childcare facilities.