CHAMPAIGN, Ill., Nov. 11 (UPI) — U.S. researchers say they’ve determined using a so-called wet ethanol production process yields not only more ethanol, but also more usable co-products.
University of Illinois scientists, led by agricultural engineering researcher Esha Khullar, said the wet ethanol process involves soaking corn kernels rather than grinding them, resulting in more gallons of ethanol.
“The conventional ethanol production method has fewer steps, but … it doesn’t have any other co-products,” Khullar said. “Whereas in both wet and dry fractionation processes, the result is ethanol, distillers dried grains … as well as germ and fiber. Corn fiber oil for example can be extracted from the fiber and used as heart-healthy additives in buttery spreads that can lower cholesterol.”
Khullar’s research team said it found the wet fractionation method produces even higher ethanol concentrations from the fermenter and better quality co-products than does the dry method.
The study was reported in the journal Cereal Chemistry.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International