Sunday, March 22, 2009

Dawn at the Ethanol Plant

Ethanol Plant, Predawn
Click to enlarge images.

A few years ago, I attended a lecture by local artist David Allen, who is known for painting urban scenes. He suggested the local ethanol plant was really an interesting place, with its perpetual cloud of steam and numerous lights. I drive by the place frequently and have even made a couple furtive attempts to snap a picture when traffic was light and I could pull off on the shoulder of the highway that goes by the plant.

This morning, I decided to make a concerted effort to get a decent picture of the ethanol plant around dawn. I started taking pictures from across the highway before dawn, as in the picture at the beginning of this post. Then I found a dirt lane paralleling the railroad tracks that go by the plant. Seeing no "Keep Out" sign or gate, I took the lane until I had a clear view of the plant. Fog shrouded the cornfield in front of the plant, and the sun was beginning to illuminate the skies. The tree to the right provides some perspective.

Ethanol Plant, Dawn
Click to enlarge images.

As the sun rose and the fog burned off, the sky became more colorful, and the plant came into sharper focus.

Ethanol Plant, Sunrise
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Zhoen said...

So, what do they use to produce ethanol?

David C. said...


As the proud owner of the 80 acre family farm I inherited, I'm all for ethanol as an alternative fuel, although I'm not truly convinced in my heart of hearts that this is really our redemption from dependence on foreign oil.

Anonymous said...

David..Thank you for linking a Nature Notes meme post. I wasn't sure which post was for the meme as it wasn't labeled that I could find, but you have many posts about nature so they are all wonderful. I have mixed feelings about ethanol. So much farmland corn is going into ethanol and being taken out of the good chain which has caused some higher prices for cattle feed and corn food products. I agree with you that I don't think that this is the single answer to out problems. Michelle

David C. said...


I'm not really sure how the meme thing works, but I'm glad you stopped by and took the time to look at and comment on the pictures.



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