January 13, 2008

New technologies redefine ethanol

The ethanol industry is evolving at a rapid pace. There are many new and interesting processes that are being developed to make the process more efficient and this article describes one of them.

Squeezing more value out of a kernel of corn is the aim of a joint venture between agribusiness giants Monsanto Co. and Cargill Inc.

Called Renessen LLC, the Monsanto-Cargill joint venture aims to boost the number of byproducts coming out of an ethanol plant by removing oil from the corn kernel before the corn starch is turned into fuel.

The Renessen process also boosts the efficiency of making ethanol and improves the quality of the high-protein livestock feed - called distillers dried grains - that remains after the corn starch is turned into ethanol.

The process separates the corn kernel into it's starch and oil components. The oil gets further processed into food grade corn oil for human consumption and the starch gets processed into ethanol. After the distillation process is complete the remaining distillers grains are further refined into separate feeds for cattle and pigs.

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