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Increase In Dry Grind Ethanol Yield By Converting Fiber Into Ethanol

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  036065,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13908) @2003
Authors:   Vijay Singh, Bruce S. Dien, Rodney J. Bothast, Robert A. Moreau, David B. Johnston, Kevin B. Hicks
Keywords:   dry grind ethanol production, recovery of germ and fiber, fiber hydrolysis, coproducts

Recent estimates indicate that the U.S. ethanol production capacity will nearly double to over 4.5 billion gallons by the end of year 2005. There are two main processes to produce ethanol from corn, wet milling and dry grind. More than 50% of ethanol in the U.S. is produced by the dry grind ethanol process. It is estimated that most of this increase in the ethanol capacity will come from new dry grind ethanol plants. Construction of a dry grind ethanol plant is attractive because it requires only one third the capital investment (compared to a comparable wet mill), but the net corn cost (cost of corn minus the revenue from co-products) is high. To reduce the cost of dry grind ethanol production, there is a need to decrease the net corn cost (by recovering more co-products and by increasing their value). The quick germ and quick fiber processes developed at the University of Illinois recover germ and fiber as coproducts in a dry grind ethanol plant. In this study the fiber recovered by the quick fiber process was hydrolyzed and fermented into ethanol. The results indicate that approximately 0.1-0.2 gallons of additional ethanol can be produced per bushel of corn by converting quick fiber into ethanol using conventional yeast which hydrolyses only C6 sugars. The use of recombinant organisms could even lead to higher ethanol yields by fermenting C5 and C6 sugars.

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