Frequently Asked Questions

Red Trail Energy, LLC
Ethanol, the Environment and the Economy
Red Trail Energy, LLC

How much corn will the plant use?

The Richardton plant will consume 18-20 million bushels of corn annually.

How much ethanol will this plant produce each year?

Red Trail Energy will produce 50 million gallons of ethanol annually. This amount is guaranteed by the builder.

How much ethanol will this plant generate per bushel of corn?

The Richardton plant will generate 2.8 gallons of ethanol from every bushel of corn. This amount is guaranteed by the builder.

How will the Richardton plant benefit area cattle producers?

Red Trail Energy will produce 162,000 tons of DDGS (dried distillers grain) or 402,000 tons of wetcake, enough feed to support 220,000 head of feeder cattle. A North Dakota State University study found that as much as $25 million could be added to southwest North Dakota’s economy by backgrounding calves.

What is Red Trail Energy LLC.?

Red Trail Energy is a group formed in to build an investor base for the purposes of constructing an ethanol plant near Richardton, N.D.

Ethanol, the Environment and the Economy

How does ethanol use affect the price of gasoline?

According to a May 2003 study, increasing the amount of ethanol to our gasoline pool could reduce the cost of fuel to consumers by as much as 6.6 cents per gallon. The American Petroleum Institute has estimated that the presence of ethanol causes gasoline prices to be 27 percent lower compared to regular unleaded. The total cost savings to consumers is approximately $270 million per year (U.S. Dept. of Energy).

How is ethanol made?

The ethanol production process starts by grinding up the feedstock so it is more easily and quickly processed. Once it is ground, the sugar is either dissolved out of the material or the starch or cellulose is converted into sugar. The sugar is then fed to microbes that use it for food, producing ethanol and carbon dioxide in the process. A final step purifies the ethanol to the desired concentration. Ethanol also can be made from a wet-milling process. Many larger ethanol producers use this process, which also yields products such as high-fructose corn sweetener.

How much ethanol is produced from one bushel of corn?

2.8 gallons

I’ve heard that ethanol use only benefits farmers, Is that true?

No. Consider these facts:

The increase in net farm income from ethanol production results in a boost in the agricultural sector that cuts farm program costs and taxpayer outlays.
Ethanol production has been responsible for more than 40,000 jobs in the United States, or more than $1.3 billion in household income.
Ethanol production directly and indirectly adds more than $6 billion to the American economy each year by boosting surrounding economies.
The co-products of ethanol production – such as corn gluten, distillers dried grains (DDGS), corn oil and carbon dioxide – are exported. According to the Corn Refiners Association, more than $200 million of that is attributable to ethanol production.

What are byproducts of ethanol production?

Ethanol byproducts (co-products) include distillers dried grains (DDGs), corn bran, corn gluten feed, corn gluten meal, corn germ meal and condensed fermented corn extractives. Every bushel of corn made into ethanol yields 18 pounds of DDGs, which are used as livestock and poultry feed. Nearly 3.8 million tons of DDGs are created in domestic dry grind ethanol production.

What is ethanol?

Ethanol (ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol) is an alcohol-based alternative fuel. It is a clear, colorless liquid made up of a group of chemical compounds whose molecules contain a hydroxyl group, -OH, bonded to a carbon atom.

Ethanol (CH3CH2OH) can be produced from any biological feedstocks (starch crops) that contain appreciable amounts of sugar or materials that can be converted into sugar, such as starch or cellulose. Examples of feedstocks that contain sugar are sugar beets and sugar cane. Corn contains starch that can be converted into sugar relatively easily, so it is the most commonly used crop. However, ethanol can also be made from barley and wheat.

A number of cellulosic biomass materials, such as trees and grasses, are made up of cellulose which also can be converted to sugar, although with more difficulty than is required to convert starch. Ethanol made from cellulosic biomass materials instead of traditional feedstocks is called bioethanol.

Most ethanol is produced in the grain-growing states of the Midwest. It is commonly used to increase octane and improve the emissions quality of gasoline. Ethanol can be blended with gasoline to form an E10 blend (10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline, or an E85 blend (85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline).

The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 mandated the sale of oxygenated fuels in areas with unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide. Since that time, there has been strong demand for ethanol as an oxygenate blended with gasoline. In the United States each year, approximately 2 billion gallons are added to gasoline to increase octane and improve the emissions quality of gasoline.

Blends of at least 85 percent ethanol are considered alternative fuels under the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct). E85 is used in flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) that are currently offered by most major auto manufacturers. FFVs can run on gasoline, E85, or any combination of the two and qualify as alternative fuel vehicles under EPAct regulations.

3682 Hwy 8 South PO Box 11
Richardton, ND 58652
General Phone Number
(701) 974 3308
Grains Phone Number
(701) 974 3880
Fax Number
(701) 974 3309