Progress Made Removing Treated Distiller Grains from Abandoned AltEn Ethanol Site 

An annual report has been released regarding the AltEn site, and it shows remarkable progress has been made throughout 2023, with plans to continue.

AltEn was an ethanol site operating in Mead, Neb. that began using treated seed in their ethanol production, leaving the wet distiller’s grains (wet cake) saturated in chemicals and unable to be fed to animals. They later shut down and moved out, leaving the location with thousands of tons of treated wet cake.

In response to the wet cake left to sit, six former customers of AltEn – AgReliant, Bayer, Beck’s, Corteva Agriscience, Syngenta and WinField United – volunteered to assist in cleaning the site and formed the AltEn Facility Response Group (FRG). The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) is assisting them in how to best remedy the situation. They began by installing a water treatment plant onsite to bring the water to a level approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Farmers have been taking this nutrient rich water to nourish their crops. To date, the plant has treated over 65 million gallons of water, and the water continues to be used by local farms.

With the water treatment going well, they shifted the plan to removing the distiller grains and seed left onsite. In 2023, FRG submitted a plan to begin removing the treated grains. They began by removing over 1,500 tons of trash and debris from the site, then began hauling treated products. Over 4,000 tons of leftover seed was removed from the AltEn site in 2023. There was also over 10,000 tons of wet cake removed. The project is on pause during the winter season because of below freezing temperatures, but both the leftover seed and wet cake are on track to be removed by the end of 2024.

These numbers represent a great example of organizations volunteering to take an unfortunate situation and effectively remedy it. To stay updated on the current status of the project, please go to

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