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Iowa State University's Hans van Leeuwen has moved his research team's award-winning idea for improving ethanol production from a laboratory to a pilot plant.
Now he knows the idea, which produces a new animal feed and cleans water that can be recycled back into ethanol production, works more efficiently in batches of up to 350 gallons than on a lab bench.
"We're learning we can reliably produce good quality and good quantities," said van Leeuwen, Iowa State's Vlasta Klima Balloun Professor of Engineering in the department of civil, construction and environmental engineering.
Van Leeuwen said the production technology can save United States ethanol producers up to $800 million a year in energy costs. He also said the technology can produce ethanol co-products worth another $800 million or more per year, depending on how it is used and marketed.