MN Ethanol Plant Back On Line

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 @ 04:03 PM gHale


A Fergus Falls, MN, ethanol plant resumed producing ethanol after a fire last week.

Green Plains Otter Tail, a subsidiary of Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc., began producing ethanol Sunday. The plant temporarily shut down after a fire in the plant’s dryer system on March 10.

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Green Plains said the plant will produce “wet cake,” which is a byproduct of ethanol production that ends up sold as livestock feed until they can repair the dryer system. The company said those repairs might take two months.

The fire was the result of a hydraulic pump failure.

The failure caused higher than normal temperatures in an attached chamber that destroys hazardous emissions. A fire started in the chamber and smoke from the fire ended up drawn into the dryer building causing a smoke explosion.

The explosion tore apart the building, said Fergus Falls Fire Chief Mark Hovland. No one suffered an injury in the fire or subsequent explosion.



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