Start Date: Aug 01, 2009
End Date: Sep 30, 2012
NCERC will make its resources (facilities, equipment, expertise and personnel) available to assess, at a pilot-scale the commercial potential of ARS-developed processes and technologies for bioethanol production. (refer to "Mutual Agreement narrative" about the overall process for selecting specific research experiments to be performed at NCERC). In FY 2010, experiments will be conducted at NCERC to measure the rate and products of enzymatic hydrolysis of corn hulls which have been pretreated by NCAUR scientists. Scientists at NCERC and NCAUR will cooperatively design and conduct experiments to optimize pretreatment and hydrolysis conditions by generating response surfaces for the yields of fermentable sugars and pretreatment byproducts as a function of pretreatment time, temperature, solids and chemical loadings, hydrolysis temperature, pH, enzyme dosages, and other critical parameters. Also in FY 2010, pilot-scale research to investigate the fate of the antibiotic virginiamycin under typical fermentation, ethanol recovery, and coproduct production conditions will be conducted at NCERC. This will involve production of DDGS from three fermentors treated with different concentrations of virginiamycin, collection of samples from key processes and operations, and analysis of samples to measure the concentration of virginiamycin using accepted analytical methods. NCERC will provide samples to NCAUR scientists, who will measure the biological activity of residues using bioassays.