Crops News

New York’s largest biofuel plant supplies ethanol for sanitizer


Western New York Energy, New York’s first and largest operational ethanol facility, has adapted operations to supply distillers, manufacturing, technology, and personal care corporations across the Northeast and Canada with ethanol to produce 80 percent antiseptic alcohol sanitizer amidst the COVID pandemic. The plant is producing over 100,000 gallons a day of tech-grade ethanol for businesses that halted operations to meet the urgent sanitizer needs of hospitals and at-risk communities. WNY Energy generates over 60-million gallons of biofuel annually, using 20-million bushels of corn. The $90 million facility was the first biofuel company in the northeastern U.S.

Tim Winters, WNYE President and CEO, said, “While many upstream chemicals used in sanitizer products are manufactured in China, WNYE has … established a manufacturing and distribution network that will exponentially increase the production of antiseptic sanitizers made from our farmers’ corn. All the sanitizer and sanitizer products will be made in Western New York and the United States.”

Colleen Klein, NY Corn and Soybean Growers Association Executive Director, said, “WNY Energy is a respected industry partner and a critically important, reliable market for our corn growers. In usual circumstances, our crop is used in the Medina facility to make clean, renewable fuel, but these are not usual circumstances.”

Winters and 50 employees produce ethanol 24/7 using hydroelectric power from Niagara Falls. The renewable energy reduces the GHG footprint for every gallon, earning WNYE an EP3 designation from the EPA.

Klein added, “New York farmers are going to show up to do their part — whatever it takes. We’re happy to have a friend in WNYE who shares this mentality. Whether you’re farm tough, New York City tough, or anywhere in between — we’re all stronger together.”

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