Corn+Soybean Digest

Economical Ethanol Process

Ethanol producers can make about 20% more ethanol using a relatively new wet-grind ethanol process, says the University of Illinois (U of I). The process is good financial news for ethanol producers because it yields more ethanol and more coproducts, including corn oil, says Vijay Singh, a U of I ag engineer involved in the research.

The modified wet ethanol process strips out the corn germ before the ethanol starch digestion. The wet-grind process has been installed at six to eight U.S. ethanol plants,says one industry source.

The resulting DDGS' fiber content is reduced from 11% to 2%, and its protein content increases from 28% to 58%.

Pork producers may view the resulting lower-fat DDGS negatively because of their lower energy value, higher crude protein (and lysine imbalance) and higher nitrogen excretion, says University of Minnesota Professor Lee Johnston, swine nutrition and management.

The process removes acid detergent fiber (ADF), a positive for swine because it's poorly digested by pigs.

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