Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Representative Darin LaHood

Representing the 18th District of Illinois

Rep. LaHood Helps Secure Hand Sanitizer Production at Big River Resources’ Galva Ethanol Plant by Global Impact Innovation

April 6, 2020
Press Release

PEORIA, IL – Congressman Darin LaHood (R-IL), Global Impact Innovation (GII), and Big River Resources in Galva, Illinois today announced that Global Impact Innovation will use portions of the Big River Resources plant in Galva to produce hand sanitizer from corn-based ethanol in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Re-purposing of corn ethanol from renewable fuels to hand sanitizer will expand the use of ethanol, help control the spread of COVID-19, and support communities dealing with hand sanitizer supply shortages.

“As our nation confronts the coronavirus pandemic, we are seeing Americans rise to the occasion to support our communities,” said Rep. LaHood. “I am grateful to Global Impact Innovation and Big River Resources for their willingness to step up and lend a helping hand during this time of need. Converting portions of the plant to produce hand sanitizer is a testament to midwestern ingenuity and could hold great potential for the ethanol industry into the future. I was happy to lend a hand to ensure they can begin production in the coming days.”

Big River Resources have long produced ethanol. Federal regulations, however, require waivers to convert plants that produce alcohol-based ethanol to other alcohol-based products. Through Rep. LaHood’s casework operation, he worked with the Trump Administration and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) under the Department of the Treasury to expedite and get their waivers approved in a matter of days.

“The Galva Plant was designed to produce Zein protein from corn to address global problems, such as pollution. However, when the Coronavirus pandemic hit our nation, it became clear that basic products such as testing kits, medicines, masks and sanitizers were needed across the country. True to our mission at GII, we decided to be part of the solution and do our part. We immediately decided to re-purpose the Galva Plant to produce ethanol-based sanitizers on a large scale so we can make it available across the United States at an affordable price. At that moment we reached out to U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood and State Senate Chuck Weaver. They quickly worked with the Trump Administration and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) under the Department of the Treasury to expedite our request and it was ultimately approved in a matter of days. This is a wonderful example of government moving quickly to help the private sector move forward with solutions to solving hand sanitizer supply shortages,” said Dr. Anil Oroskar, Dr. Asha Oroskar, and Mr. Paresh Ghelani, Founders of Global Impact Innovation LLC. “We thank the late Mr. Ray Defenbaugh, the founding member and chairman of Big River Resources, LLC., Mr. Jim Leiting, CEO of Big River Resources LLC and their entire team. We are grateful for their assistance and looking forward to doing our part, as we all are in it together in these tough times.”

“Big River Prairie Gold and Big River Resources are excited to partner with Global Impact Innovation LLC. at our Galva, Illinois ethanol facility to support their effort to produce and supply hand sanitizer in this time of national crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic. We thank our legislators and local Galva City Administration for their support in expediting the licensing and permitting process to allow this to happen in a timely manner. Big River Resources and Global Impact Innovation are proud to support our local communities with stable well-paid employment opportunities in rural America,” said Jim Leiting, Chief Executive Officer of Big River Resources.

Global Impact Innovation (GII) is a company founded by Mr. Paresh Ghelani, Dr. Asha Oroskar, and Dr. Anil Oroskar. GII's vision is to bring innovative products and solutions to address global problems such as environmental pollution, seawater desalination, biodegradable plastics etc. GII will begin hand sanitizer production at Big River Resources in Galva using ethanol produced at the Big River Resources facility in April. GII’s expected capacity will be around 100,000+ gallons per month and will be sold across the United States to hospitals, retailers and government institutions. This plant is expected to employ about 30 employees when fully operational in the coming weeks.

###