Progress: Northwest Iowa ethanol plants join large-scale project to capture and store carbon

Source: By Dave Dreeszen, Sioux City Journal • Posted: Monday, March 22, 2021

MARCUS, Iowa — At least three ethanol plants in Northwest Iowa have forged a deal with an Iowa-based agri-business as part of a plan to develop the world’s largest carbon dioxide capture and storage project.

Summit Carbon Solutions, a unit of Alden, Iowa-based Summit Agriculture Group, announced last month it is partnering with a select group of leading biorefiners in Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota to execute the first phase of its project, which the company says will put them on the path of ultimately delivering a net-zero-carbon fuel.

The company said it’s proceeding with initial engineering, design and permitting associated with the project, which will permanently store carbon dioxide deep underground in saline geologic formations.

Little Sioux Corn Processors in Marcus, Iowa, said its partnership with Summit will capture and deposit 445,000 of tons annually of carbon, dramatically lowering the biorefinery’s carbon footprint.

“Creating an environmentally-friendly energy source has always been a top priority for our company,” said Steve Roe, CEO of Little Sioux Corn Processors, a Marcus plant with a capacity to process 165 million gallons of corn-based ethanol. “We are thrilled to join with Summit Carbon Solutions on this transformational project so we can continue to create clean, safe, affordable energy for rapidly growing low-carbon fuel markets.”

Siouxland Energy in Sioux Center and Green Plains in Superior were also among the 16 plants that had signed up for the carbon project as of last month.

When fully developed, Summit said it will have an infrastructure network capable of capturing and permanently storing more than 10 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, which is equivalent to taking 2 million cars off the road per year.