Ethanol producers take advantage of hand sanitizer opportunities during pandemic

An ethanol producer says COVID-19 has prompted some producers to jump into the hand sanitizer market.  Erik Huschitt with Badger State Ethanol in Monroe, Wisconsin is the President of the Wisconsin Biofuels Association board.  He tells Brownfield the ability is there to direct a large amount of ethanol into sanitizer with investment in stripping columns and other technology to produce technical grade or industrial alcohol. He says, “We’ve seen the industry respond in a big, big way and we don’t see that going away. It will take time, but you’ll see the equalibrium come back where too many have gone that direction and flood that market.”

Huschitt says the market during and after COVID-19 will take care of how much sanitizer is made. “You will see in a matter of time us oversupplying the alcohol needed in those industries. We will then crater that price, and then we will likely see that shift back into fuel.”

Huschitt says the ethanol industry has stood up to the challenge to fix a broken sanitizer and disinfectant supply chain, and after the pandemic is over, he expects some ethanol producers will keep producing disinfectants.

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