left-arrow right-arrow pinterest Facebook google_plus LinkedIn Twitter Twitter Shield Icon
Back to News

Green Plains, ten Bensel Recognized for Hand Sanitizer Efforts


October 30, 2020

Green Plains Renewable Energy of Omaha, Nebraska, and Jan ten Bensel of Cambridge, Nebraska, were recognized by Serve Nebraska for their contributions and efforts to create ethanol-based hand sanitizer during this year's COVID 19 pandemic. The honorees were recognized on Thursday, October 29, via a virtual awards ceremony. 

Honored in the Adult Disaster Volunteer Category, ten Bensel, along with Hunter Flodman, PhD, assistant professor of biomolecular engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, earlier this year spearheaded a hand sanitizer production program at Nebraska Innovation Campus' Food Processing Center. The production project quickly came to fruition and over 200,000 gallons of hand sanitizer was produced over a six month period. The sanitizer was then distributed free of charge to hospitals, nursing homes, educational institutions, and non profits across Nebraska. 

Green Plains Renewable Energy was recognized in the Corporate Disaster Volunteer Category for their donation of ethanol to the project. When the need for hand sanitizer became clear earlier this year, people turned to Nebraska's ethanol industry to supply the alcohol needed to make the life-saving sanitizer. Due to the need for a special high grade of ethanol produced by Green Plains, they were approached and generously donated over $2 million of ethyl alcohol that was used to produce the over 200,000 gallons of ethanol-based hand sanitizer in the UNL effort. 

Renewable Fuels Nebraska was proud to nominate Green Plains and Jan ten Bensel, the current chairman of the Nebraska Ethanol Board, for the Serve Nebraska awards: "Renewable Fuels Nebraska felt it was important to recognize Green Plains, Jan tenBensel, Dr. Flodman and the University of Nebraska - Lincoln for their hard work and dedication to turn a product like ethanol, something we have an abundance of in Nebraska, into a life-saving sanitizer that has been donated to public and private entities across the state." said Troy Bredenkamp, Renewable Fuels Nebraska executive director. "Even at a time when the ethanol industry was being devastated by the COVID pandemic, Green Plains, Jan and the University led the charge to keep Nebraskans safe."

Serve Nebraska is the Nebraska Volunteer Service Commission. They coordinate community involvement by fellow Nebraskans to address the needs of Nebraska communities and support community members in their volunteer efforts. Serve Nebraska was established as the Nebraska Commission for National and Community Service in 1994 and in 2008 was renamed Serve Nebraska. 

Troy Bredenkamp
[email protected]
Renewable Fuels Nebraska

About Renewable Fuels Nebraska
Renewable Fuels Nebraska (RFN) is the trade organization for Nebraska's ethanol industry. We are an industry resource encouraging public policy that ensures the growth and expansion of the nation's second largest renewable fuels industry.

Back to News