Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/5/2008
Publication Date: 6/1/2008
Citation: Nichols, N.N., Bothast, R.J. 2008. Production of ethanol from grain. In: Vermerris, W., editor. Genetic Improvement of Bioenergy Crops. New York, NY: Springer. p. 75-88. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: World ethanol production and use of ethanol as motor fuel is increasing. In the United States, 6.3 billion gallons (24 billion liters) of new annual production capacity was planned or under construction in 2007, in addition to annual production capacity of 6.1 billion gallons (23 billion liters) from 119 existing facilities (Renewable Fuels Association). In the U.S., the major feedstock for ethanol production is corn grain. In 2006, corn accounted for 97% of ethanol production and sorghum accounted for 2%. Worldwide, the majority of ethanol is produced from sugarcane, with Brazil accounting for most production. Other grains (wheat, barley, and rice), and in some cases corn, are used for ethanol production in Europe, Canada, and Asia. Starch crops will continue to play an important role in ethanol production. As production of renewable fuels increases, use of grain crops as feedstocks is increasing in several regions of the world. In the U.S., interest in alternative starch and sugar crops is on the rise, especially in areas where crops with a shorter growing season or reduced water use are desirable. New developments including improved fermenting strains and conversion enzymes, new co-products, and addition of new technologies to dry grind ethanol plants will continue to increase productivity of ethanol processes.