Monday, June 16, 2008

The Future of Corn Ethanol: Making the Most of It

A Kansas based company has developed a way to make something for almost everyone out of each grain of field corn used in its corn ethanol process.
The new technology, developed over a decade of research at ICM plants in Colwich and St. Joseph, Mo., adds new product lines to the ethanol production process while reducing the consumption of fossil fuels, enzymes and water, said David Vander Griend, president of ICM.

The process -- called Total Kernel Optimization or TKO -- will be unveiled Monday at the International Fuel Ethanol Workshop in Nashville...The new process can be installed in an operating ethanol plant without interrupting current production, Vander Griend said. Paying for the upgrade by using revenue from increased product lines is expected to take 18 to 24 months.

The new process is "dry mill" or "dry fractionation" as opposed to the current "wet milling" process that produces human food such as corn oil, corn starch and high fructose corn syrup; ethanol, and distillers grain for animal feed.

It more fully separates the components of the corn kernel to create germ, endosperm and fiber.

From the germ, oil and protein are harvested for the human food market.

The endosperm provides starch and protein. The starch becomes ethanol and the protein is human food.

The fiber from both becomes fuel to power the plant. __Source__via__BiofuelsDigest
A lot of innovations packed into one new process. This is important, given the high cost of feedstock and the public concern over potential diversion of food to fuel.



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