Corn Plus, an ethanol plant producing 49 million gallons annually in Winnebago, Minnesota, is looking at using wastewater instead of fresh water for its production process. The plant uses up to 350,000 gallons of fresh water daily and sees an opportunity knowing that the city discharges a minimum of the same amount of wastewater into the Blue Earth River daily.
“It’s a wonderful reuse of water that otherwise would just be discharged in the river,” said Mary Fralish, a deputy director of Public Works in Mankato. “And that kind of use is catching fire across the country.”
Corn Plus’ General Manager Keith Kor asked lawmakers for assistace and Senator Julie Rosen and Representative Bob Gunther sponsored legislation that will help finance pipe to transport the wastewater to the plant. The bill seeks between $250,000 and $300,000.
“They want to eliminate some of the controversy about using water in ethanol plants,” Gunther said.
Corn Plus began production in 1993. It’s new fluidized bed is one of its kind in the world.