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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.
After reading the fine print, it turns out President Trump’s memo issued over the weekend extending his 10-year offshore oil and gas drilling ban from Florida all the way up the East Coast to Virginia, contains a poison pill — it also bans offshore wind development.
Why This Matters: It is disappointing from both a climate change perspective, but also because the offshore wind farm leases were selling for hundreds of millions of dollars all of which would be paid to the government.
Yesterday, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state will phase out sales of all gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035. As Governor Newsom said in a separate event with Democratic governors yesterday, people have climate “goal fatigue” and are ready for the application of those goals–this move on gas-powered cars walks the walk on California’s ambitious […]
H/T to renews.biz, an energy news platform, for that headline, and to PepsiCo for making it possible. PepsiCo, one of the largest companies in the world — with a global carbon footprint — announced plans this week to transition to 100% renewable electricity across all of its company-owned and controlled operations globally by 2030 and […]
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