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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ECONOMIC COMPETITIVENESS OF RENEWABLE FUELS DERIVED FROM GRAINS AND RELATED BIOMASS

Location: Sustainable Biofuels and Co-Products

Title: Hulless Barley - a New Feedstock for Fuel Ethanol?

Authors
item Hicks, Kevin
item Flores, Rolando
item Taylor, Frank
item McAloon, Andrew
item Moreau, Robert
item Johnston, David
item Senske, Gerard
item Brooks, Wynse - VIRGINIA TECH.BLACKSBURG
item Griffey, Carl - VIRGINIA TECH.BLACKSBURG

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2005
Publication Date: June 1, 2005
Citation: Hicks, K.B., Flores, R.A., Taylor, F., Mcaloon, A.J., Moreau, R.A., Johnston, D., Senske, G.E., Brooks, W.S., Griffey, C.A. 2005. Hulless barley - a new feedstock for fuel ethanol?. Proceedings of the 15th Annual EPAC Ethanol lConference, Cody, WY. June 12-14.

Technical Abstract: On August 8, 2005, the President signed a new Energy Bill that will contain a Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). This RFS will mandate the inclusion of renewable components into our fuel supply, with a total of 4 billion gallons per year of renewables, like fuel ethanol, and increasing to a total of 7.5 billion gallons per year, by 2012. It is estimated that to meet 2006 goals, the nation will use 12-15% of the annual corn crop, since corn is the predominant feedstock for fuel ethanol production. While this has benefited corn farmers significantly, continued growth of the industry will put stresses on corn supplies. Producers from non-corn belt states such as Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Montana and Idaho also need new markets for grains they can grow in order to increase farm income and rely less on Federal subsidies and farm payments. Barley may be such a crop. The most common type of barley grown, hulled barley, is not a prime feedstock, however, for fuel ethanol. It can not be converted to fuel ethanol using a conventional corn-to-ethanol process without significant modifications. Processes for conversion to fuel ethanol are not cost competitive today in the U.S. compared to the use of corn. The abrasive nature of hulled barley, the high viscosity of barley fermentations, and the low starch and high fiber content lead to high production costs, low ethanol yields, and a distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) coproduct that can’t be fed to monogastric animals. A multidisciplinary research effort at the Eastern Regional Research Center, ARS, USDA in Wyndmoor PA, in cooperation with research partners, has been initiated to solve these technical problems. The research approaches include development of high-starch, hulless barley varieties specifically bred for ethanol production and the use of new beta-glucanases to decrease viscosity of mashes, increase yields of ethanol, and decrease levels of residual beta-glucans in DDGS.

Last Modified: 4/17/2014