Submitted to: Society of Industrial Microbiology Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/2/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Last year, over 1.6 billion gallons of fuel ethanol were produced from 600 plus million bushels of corn. Today, more than 15% of U.S. motor fuels contain ethanol. In order to improve the yield of ethanol from a bushel of corn, the seed corn industry has suggested the development of grains with tailored traits, e.g., corn with higher starch content and enhanced fermentability. In this study, we evaluated the fermentability of corn varieties with starch content ranging from 68 to 73% dry wt and included varieties with and without the Bt modification. Traditional yeast fermentations were conducted after liquefaction and saccharification at volumes of 100 ml, 1.6 L, and 30 L. For the most part, high starch corn produced more alcohol. However, conversion efficiencies ranged from 87 to 92% of theoretical indicating that the availability of the starch for the production of fermentable sugars is dependent on variety and not total starch content. In addition, the Bt protein was not detectable in the bee or spent grains after fermentation of all varieties tested.