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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Increasing the Ethanol Yield from a Bushel of Corn; Prospects for Biomass Conversion

Authors
item Dien, Bruce
item Bothast, Rodney - SIU EDWARDSVILLE
item Nichols, Nancy
item Cotta, Michael

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 4, 2003
Publication Date: June 4, 2003
Citation: Dien, B.S., Bothast, R.J., Nichols, N.N., Cotta, M.A. 2003. Increasing the ethanol yield from a bushel of corn; prospects for biomass conversion [abstract]. International Starch Technology. Paper No. 2.

Technical Abstract: The U.S. produced nearly 2 billion gallons of fuel ethanol from grain in 2002, mostly from corn. A little more than half of the corn used to produce ethanol was wet milled. Current wet milled technology allows for 2.5 gal of ethanol per bushel of corn. In this session, we will discuss the opportunities for increasing the yield from a wet milling operation. In the first talk, Dr. Bothast will introduce the National Corn to Ethanol Research Pilot Plant located in Edwardsville, Illinois. It is envisioned that the pilot plant will play a major role in commercializing new technologies for producing ethanol more cost efficiently from corn. The pilot plant fully emulates both corn wet and dry milling processes and has process capacity of 200 bu/day. The pilot plant was designed to be highly flexible and will have a highly trained support staff. In the second talk, Dr. Dien will discuss conversion of fibrous biomass into ethanol. There exists an opportunity for increasing the current 2.5 gal/bu yield by also converting the fibrous components of the corn kernel (i.e., pericarp and germ). Fermenting these non-starch fractions could increase the yield from a bushel of corn by as much as 10%. Cellulosic biomass can be converted to ethanol by pretreating the material for subsequent enzymatic digestion and then adding hydrolyzing enzymes and yeast for Simultaneous Saccharification and Fermentation (SSF). We have successfully converted the material to ethanol using a dilute-acid pretreatment followed by fermentation with either traditional Saccharomyces cerevisiae or a recombinant bacterium that ferments glucose as well as pentoses.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
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