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Gasoline demand has declined by half due to the pandemic, and since ethanol is a component in 10% of all gasoline, so has ethanol demand dropped and so has its price, making it tough for the nation’s largest producers of the gasoline additive. Since 40% of the country’s corn supply goes to make ethanol. the market decline has a negative ripple effect in farm country. To offset a portion of the losses, some of the nation’s largest ethanol producers have switched to making hand sanitizer, even though it costs them.
One of the nation’s largest ethanol producers has redesigned its plants to make pharmaceutical-grade hand sanitizer, according to CNBC. Its CEO, Jeff Broin, said “It takes some retrofitting,” says Broin. “That’s underway, literally working around the clock.” It is expensive to convert ethanol production facilities to make hand sanitizer because the alcohol has to be “further distilled to meet pharmaceutical grade standards, then it needs to be mixed with other ingredients to make hand sanitizer.” Then it has to be bottled, which is not something they had done before. And even as gasoline prices rise again, the company plans to stick with making hand sanitizer. Broin told CNBC that it could eventually provide as much as 5% of income. “I think the demand for hand sanitizer will increase over time,” Broin says. “People need to stay safe.”
At first, the company donated much of the hand sanitizer to health care workers but now they are starting to make retail and web sales of the product. “Frontline workers are facing risks every day to keep our communities safe from COVID-19, and we all need to do our part. At POET, we saw an opportunity to help our community while living our mission – to be good stewards of the Earth by converting renewable resources to valuable goods – and created an all-natural ethanol-based sanitizer product. Bio-based products, like the sanitizer we’re donating today, are a safe, affordable solution for our community’s everyday needs from fuel for our cars to sanitizer for our families” Broin said in a statement.
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor A new report has found that since the 2015 signing of the Paris agreement, more than 75% of the world’s planned coal plant projects have been scrapped, and 44 countries have no future coal plans whatsoever. The report’s authors hope this trend will continue as the COP26 conference in […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor The House Ways and Means Committee has released their portion of the reconciliation for the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending package. The plan follows through on many promises made by the Biden administration, including clean energy tax credits and credits for electric vehicle owners. The plan, announced on the heels […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor On Tuesday, the Biden administration announced that it would “revise” regulations regarding renewable energy on public lands, a move that may ease the development of solar and wind projects. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) said that it would be seeking input for a new proposal, which it plans to issue early next year. […]
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