Iowa ethanol, glycerin donated for hand sanitizer production

By The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association | March 23, 2020

Two Iowa Renewable Fuels Association members sent the first donated shipment of Iowa ethanol and glycerin to the state of Iowa to be used by Iowa Prison Industries for the production of hand sanitizer during the national shortage.

The donation is made by Iowa ethanol producer Absolute Energy and Iowa biodiesel producer Western Iowa Energy. The IRFA worked with Iowa Prison Industries to secure the shipment of these products and other necessary ingredients. Templeton Rye is also providing distilled water for the project. The finished product will be distributed free of charge by the state of Iowa for priority use.

“The whole country is working tirelessly to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus and Iowa biofuels producers are proud to help anyway we can,” said Monte Shaw, IRFA executive director. “We applaud Absolute Energy and Western Iowa Energy for stepping up in the best way they could to help with this effort, as well as the other biofuel plants who stand ready to help if additional production is needed.”

IRFA notified Gov. Kim Reynolds’ office early last week that Iowa biofuel producers would be willing to help with hand sanitizer production if needed and her team worked hard to help ensure the project’s success. 

“Gov. Reynolds and her team deserve credit for making this happen,” Shaw said. “Even during this time of emergency, a number of regulatory technicalities crossing multiple federal agencies stood in our way. Thanks to the efforts of staff in Gov. Reynolds’ and Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst’s offices, we were able to overcome these hurdles that could have otherwise prevented this production of much-need hand sanitizer. Knocking down these barriers will have impacts beyond Iowa. In fact, we already know other states have heard about Iowa’s project and are working with their biofuel producers to implement similar programs.”

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