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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Bioproduct Chemistry and Engineering Research

Project Number: 5325-41000-047-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Jun 07, 2005
End Date: Nov 30, 2009

Develop and evaluate ethanol-based separation systems for the biorefining of wheat to produce conventional and new fractions as platforms for both food and non-food applications. Characterize the functional material properties of the refined fractions produced in these new systems for their use in both food and non-food applications. Develop and evaluate improved biorefining methods utilizing barrier or membrane-based separation technologies to manage the recovery of ethanol or other biobased chemicals for use as a platform chemical, a biofuel, and a processing fluid.

To develop new separation systems, determine and account for (a) unique wheat gluten protein properties in the hydrated and developed state that enhance separation from starch and (b) unique solvent properties of ethanol that enable subfractionation of proteins, recovery of minor components (pentosan), and production of a dry product. Evaluate processing strategies such as countercurrent, batch, and crosscurrent extraction. To characterize functional material properties determine mixing theological properties, baking-volumetric expansion, Falling Number (starch), and elasticity and extensibility of protein polymers. Characterize compositions of refined fractions and solubilized components in process fluids. Assess use for food applications including (a) fortification of low protein, poor quality flour by whole gluten, gluten fractions, or recombined fractions and (b) meat substitutes. Assess use for non-food applications include degradable polymer formulations for plastic objects, textiles, coatings or sheeting. Establish probable market values for whole gluten and other components collaboratively with gluten manufacturer. Determine material balances and costs for the base, whole-gluten case developed initially in the parent project and extrapolate this to hypothetical designs that emerge for more complex separations. Collaborate with ARS cost engineers and process-design firms where appropriate. To develop ethanol enrichment and recovery methods develop unique barrier materials for separation operations based pm pervaporation, perstraction, etc. Evaluate new materials for improved permeability and selectivity for ethanol recovery and concentration from fermentation broth (5-10% ethanol). Replacing 5325-41000-045-00D (May 2005).

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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