Distilling Pure Value
This plant was built by local investors so local farmers could benefit from the increased value of the corn they grow. We reward their confidence in us by constantly improving production efficiency to produce ethanol above the official nameplate rating for this plant. In fact, ours is a culture of continuous improvement as we seek to improve everything we do.
Construction on the original 15-million-gallon ethanol plant in Stanley began in 2001. During that run-up to full operation, a CO2 plant was built in order to add CO2 and dry ice as co-products. Before long, customers signaled the need for additional capacity, so by 2004 the plant expanded to create 30 million gallons of ethanol yearly.
Establishing a second grain-receiving location called Four Corners in 2005 expanded our connection to farmers in our region. Two years later, Four Corners had grown to include 1.3 million bushels of corn storage, enhancing our ability to secure corn needed to maintain a round-the-clock production system.
Ace Ethanol acquired all Utica Energy facilities in the Oshkosh and Green Bay area in 2013, infusing our operation with new dedication for efficiency, capacity, and top-quality products. Those locations are wholly owned subsidiaries of Ace Ethanol, LLC.
Our Members and a Member Board of Directors include farmers and local investors who understand the value of a local grain marketing opportunity that results from renewable energy. We’re confident our efforts to improve this company will lead to more value for our customers, employees, and our neighbors—anyone who has a stake in the success of renewable energy and Wisconsin agriculture.
Our Customers are farmers within a 200-mile radius who value extended marketing opportunities for their corn crop. Their deliveries to our ethanol plant or to our Four Corners receiving station fuel our daily appetite for 48,000 corn bushels, 365 days a year. Our yearly intake is 18 million bushels, resulting in an output of 48 million gallons of ethanol.
Storage Capacity for 2 million bushels on site in Stanley will supply our process for 42 production days. We grind that corn to flour consistency and add water. Adding alpha-amylase and glucoamylase then covert starch to simple sugars to which we add yeast to facilitate fermentation. In 45 to 48 hours, the fermentation process generates ethanol and carbon dioxide.
Quality and Safety
Quality-control procedures protect our products and the environment. At every step of our process, we efficiently capture and recirculate exhaust water and steam. For example, once wet corn fiber and syrup are processed to create dried distillers grains and solubles (DDGS), dryer exhaust air recirculates to a thermal oxidizer and becomes nothing more complicated than water and carbon dioxide. Cooling water and boiler water used throughout the plant are both constantly monitored, too, to control mineral deposits and bacteria growth. Wastewater is sent to the local water treatment plant.
Carbon dioxide and vapors created during fermentation are routed to one of three task-specific scrubbers to assure we produce pure substances for our CO2 or emit only safe streams into the atmosphere. Dust from unloading, conveying, and grinding corn is filtered from the air and returned to our manufacturing processes. We filter again when dried distillers grains are loaded out to buyers.
We routinely use clean-in-place techniques to sterilize heat exchangers, pipes, and tanks as well as mash preparation equipment. As for our primary product, ethanol quality is checked every day and again before it ships.
Safety procedures ensure safe employees, safe products, and safe interaction with the environment. We implement safe behaviors around the clock. Every employee is trained to understand the value of safety manuals and our emergency plans. Each week, employees attend a Toolbox safety talk and every outside contractor is expected to train in our safety program that includes personal protective equipment—specific by plant area—for every person who enters the plant.
We comply with all local and federal government environmental safety standards and adhere to SPCC (spill prevention control and countermeasures) policies. We work in cooperation with local emergency entities.