A western Iowa ethanol plant recently donated 1,000 bottles of its locally made hand sanitizer product to the Renewable Fuels Association.
Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy in Council Bluffs began production of SIREtizer in response to the nationwide shortage of sanitizer stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the plant has already made large donations of its product to area hospitals and governmental entities, SIRE has now stepped up to supply hand sanitizer for upcoming RFA events – according to SIRE regulatory compliance manager Justin Schultz.
“We do an annual conference every year for our industry,” Schultz said. “We were talking about what that was going to look like. Were people actually going to this thing? Were we going to be doing a virtual conference? We worked with the RFA to come up with a way we could provide them with a small 3.3-ounce bottle. It’s really easy to hand out to folks. We put the “Ethanol Fueled with Pride” logo right on the side of it to match up with our SIREtizer logo. So it’s kind of a co-branding effort, but really the need was there for the RFA. We fully support that organization.”
Other events that their product will be supplied for RFA include the famous Sturgis rally, Crappie Masters Tournaments, races and other special events with RFA involvement. Bottles will also be distributed on Capitol Hill to offices of Iowa’s federal elected officials.
Since the launch of the SIREtizer product, Schultz says it rapidly took off and is now offered on the retail market.
“At first it was almost overnight that we had to create an outdoor factory, create a business plan, and just try to figure out how we were going to handle all of this,” Schultz said. “The need was so great that it was constant phone calls, emails, text messages, and people stopping by our plant. As soon as word got out that we were doing this, we couldn’t even keep up.”
SIRE is one of many RFA member plants that have stepped up and started or increased production of ethyl alcohol for sanitizers since the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information on the SIREtizer product, visit RFA’s website.
Schultz’s full interview can be heard below.