ADM Ethanol Facility

Ecolab Helps Fuel 6.1 Million Gallons of Water Savings for ADM Ethanol Facility

$1.6M Total Value Delivered

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ADM is a global leader in human and animal nutrition and the world’s premier agricultural origination and processing company. The company is committed to good business practices, progressive solutions and mindful actions that make a positive impact.

Its Strive 35 enterprise goals aim to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions, energy intensity and water intensity by 2035. To that end, the company seeks solutions that will help advance its sustainability goals.


An ADM facility in Columbus, Nebraska, that produces ethanol, a plant-based biofuel, from fermented corn was looking for a better process for removing biofilm buildup. Biofilms that are not properly removed can negatively impact ethanol production and output.

ADM’s longtime partner, Ecolab, assessed the situation to determine the root cause of the biofilm buildup. It then proposed a solution – the Ecolab Clean-in-Place (CIP) program, which is designed to decrease negative fermentation byproducts that impact ethanol yield and quality.

Along with the CIP program, the plant implemented Trimeta™ Shield, an innovative cleaner and final rinse combination that helps improve cleaning and restore equipment efficiency for ethanol producers, along with a low pH cleaning product. These solutions replaced sodium hydroxide, a caustic cleaning agent that the facility was using previously.

Corn in an ADM Ethanol Facility


Ecolab’s CIP technology and associated chemistries led to more consistent fermentation and enhanced system performance and reliability. Productivity was also increased through reductions in treatment chemistry.

Improved cleaning and biofilm removal also led to significant reductions in water, energy and greenhouse gas emissions – benefits that are helping ADM on its Strive 35 journey and its continuing commitment to achieve a stronger and better world.

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The results in this case study are specific to this individual customer and may vary for other customers based on factors and circumstances in their operations.

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