Nebraska is second only to Iowa in corn-based ethanol production. Nebraska has the capacity to produce more than 2.2 billion gallons of ethanol a year, which is 14 percent of the nation's ethanol supply. There are 25 active ethanol-producing plants in the state, with the highest concentrations in southern Nebraska. Ethanol facilities in the state use more than 700 million bushels of grain per year for ethanol production. Additionally, ethanol helps power vehicles inside and outside of Nebraska's rural communities, across the U.S. and around the globe.
Most of the ethanol produced in Nebraska is shipped to other states. But some Nebraska-based industries use ethanol in their manufacturing process. On September 5th, Nebraska-based Prairie Catalytic, LLC opened a $50 million production facility in Columbus. Prairie Catalytic manufactures ethyl acetate, a bio-based household chemical product. The facility is strategically located next to the Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) corn processing facility, which will supply Prairie Catalytic with corn-based ethanol utilized in the production process.
Corn is a key feedstock for ethanol. Dried distillers grains (DDGS) are a high-value livestock feed and a co-product of dry-mill ethanol production.
Thanks to feeding trials sponsored in part by the Nebraska Ethanol Board, distillers grain and corn gluten feed have become widely accepted among Nebraska’s beef producers as a preferred ingredient in their animal rations. In fact, DDGS have replaced soybean meal as the second largest livestock feed component, second behind corn.
Making ethanol a more important part of our nation’s energy supply is clearly in our best interests — both economically and in terms of energy security. Ethanol use already reduces the U.S. trade deficit by $2 billion each year — and the jobs created by this homegrown energy industry are generating tax dollars and economic vitality.