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Associated Press, Published February 24 2012

SD ethanol plant to convert to butanol plant

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota corn ethanol plant will soon be making the transition to producing a fuel additive with a wider variety of uses.

Redfield Energy CEO Tom Hitchcock says the 50 million gallon per year plant is teaming with Colorado-based Gevo to convert the facility in Redfield to a 40 million gallon per year butanol plant.

Gevo is also retrofitting a plant it owns in Luverne, Minn.

Butanol has traditionally been used as paint thinner, cleaner and adhesive, but as a fuel additive it contains more energy than ethanol and could be blended into existing cars at higher percentages.

The Redfield plant is a co-op owned by 650 members.

Hitchcock says Gevo is paying for the retrofit in exchange for an equity interest in the partnership.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.