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Ethanol Engineer



In ethanol plant, an engineer is responsible for working closely with the management team to maximize efficiencies of plant operations and implement process improvement projects. Ethanol engineers can help an ethanol plant with cost-saving projects, such as energy reclaim/reduction, yield optimization and chemical usage reduction.



What type of responsibilities will I have?

  • Troubleshoot problems as they arise
  • Identify process needs to maintain production levels
  • Ensure compliance of environmental and health & safety needs of team members
  • Because ethanol plants typically operate 24/7, be available in case of a breakdown or emergency
  • Work closely with the plant manager and general manager to maximize efficiencies of plant operations
  • Look for ways to optimize plant run time but mechanically and with personnel
  • Identify process needs to maintain production levels
  • Analyze plant data and develop reports based on plant operations
  • Network with other engineers at other sites in order to share best practices and to solve problems
  • Assist in the development and execution of projects
  • Develop budgets for improvements and additions to plant
  • Monitor infrastructure and machinery for maintenance needs
  • Research new technology to improve processes at the plant
  • Look for ways to increase product quality
  • Ensure plant meets environmental and safety protocol


What education and training is required?

A bachelor’s degree in chemical or electrical engineering is required. Additional training in microbiology is a plus.


To pursue a career as an ethanol engineer:

The following high school courses are recommended:  agricultural education, biology, chemistry, writing and computer courses.


Where can I work?

Ethanol engineers work at ethanol plants, bio-energy firms and other biorefineries.


Future Job Market / Outlook

The future outlook for an ethanol engineer will be good over the next five years. 


Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations

  • American Coalition for Ethanol
  • Renewable Fuels Association
  • National Biodiesel Board
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