IRFA Members Make 2nd Donation of Ethanol to State of Iowa for Hand Sanitizer Production

Contact: Cassidy Walter

JOHNSTON, IOWA – Two Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) members kicked off the new month by sending the second and third donated shipments of ethanol to the state of Iowa to be used by Iowa Prison Industries (IPI) to continue their production of much-needed hand sanitizer.

This week’s donations were made by Iowa ethanol producers Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy (SIRE) and Lakeview Plymouth Energy. It follows donations of ethanol and glycerin made earlier by IRFA members Absolute Energy and Western Iowa Energy. The hand sanitizer produced is being distributed for free by the state for priority use.

“Even in the face of horrible plant economics, it’s gratifying to see how Iowa biofuel producers continue to step up to help our state in the midst of this pandemic,” said IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “In a time when fuel demand is down and biofuel producers are hurting, we applaud Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy, Lakeview Plymouth Energy, and other biofuel companies who are still working hard to contribute to the fight against COVID-19 by aiding in the critical production of hand sanitizer.”

Governor Kim Reynolds launched the program to utilize Iowa’s abundant ethanol and glycerin, a coproduct of biodiesel, production to help ease the shortage of hand sanitizer. Iowa Prison Industries worked to overcome regulatory hurdles and supply issues for other components in the FDA’s approved hand sanitizer formula.

“Given Iowa’s production of ethanol and glycerin, this sounded simple, but I can assure you it has taken a lot of hard work and ingenuity,” added Shaw. “After Gov. Reynolds provided the leadership to jumpstart this program, IPI has done incredible work securing the needed components, dealing with shipping, production and safety issues. It’s been a pleasure to work with them because IPI simply refused to take ‘no’ for an answer and have successfully put out thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer with more being produced every day.”

Totes of ethanol from Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy prepared for shipment to Iowa Prison Industries.


The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association represents the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry and works to foster its growth. Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable fuels production with 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing over 4.5 billion gallons annually – including 34 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity – and 11 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 400 million gallons annually. For more information, visit the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website at: