Reinventing Ethanol Production
Two companies are cooking up a potential new method of ethanol production.
Quad County Corn Processors of Galva, IA, will partner with FCStone Carbon, LLC of West Des Moines, IA, to test and scale up the latter’s patented ultrasonic process technology for ethanol production.
In this first scale-up effort, sonication will be applied to the cooked corn slurry produced during ethanol production. According to FCStone Carbon, research indicates that sonication results in a more efficient breakdown of the corn starch component and as a result, more starch is exposed, creating higher conversions than can be achieved through traditional ethanol production processes.
"We have also demonstrated that sonication impacts the starch component in a manner allowing more efficient enzymatic activity," says Mike Kinley, vice president of technology, FCStone Carbon.
"This technology offers the potential for us to get more ethanol out of a bushel of corn, or even reduce the amount of corn and enzyme required to make a gallon of ethanol," explains Mike Jerke, general manager of Quad County Corn Processors.