1. How did you come up with this idea?
“Usually, we produce bioethanol from flour milled from grain. We figured that bread should work as a raw material as well, since it contains flour. That worked perfectly, so now we’re trying all kinds of starch or sugar based materials, like pasta, corn, or gingerbread cookies. Apart from being an excellent way to work with sustainability, we also lower our raw material costs and improve the retail value of the ethanol.”
2. What else do you do at work?
“I trade in the ethanol we produce. I look for markets where we can achieve added value for our products. I research new applications for our ethanol – for example as a coal source in treatment plants – and I look for general ways to improve our business, both inside and outside the production.”
3. Agroetanol makes ethanol, carbon dioxide, and feed. They seem like very diverse products – why those three?
“All those products are created in the fermentation process in our factory. If you put in 3 kilos of wheat, you get 1 kilo ethanol, 1 kilo stillage for feed, and 1 kilo of carbon dioxide.”
4. What are Agroetanol’s challenges going forward?
“To survive in a more competitive environment. The margin between wheat and ethanol/animal feed usually isn’t the greatest. We need to be flexible and adapt to the conditions in the market. One example is to work with several kinds of raw material, so we can purchase the inputs that are cheapest right now. We also need to find markets with added value, and reduce the price risks of ethanol and feed.”
5. Do you have any advice for people just starting their careers?
“Be engaged, do your best, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Let go of bad ideas quickly and move on to the next one.”