|Currently, processing in agriculture has evolved to allow corn to ethanol conversion in various dry grind facilities. This process has now become imperative due to the bulk production of ethanol. However, high temperatures and pressures and use of acid or steam are required for pretreating the corn. This is followed by enzyme liquefaction, which makes this process inefficient and cumbersome. Hence, there is an unmet need to simplify this process and reduce the need for such extreme conditions during pretreatment.
Researchers at Purdue University have developed a method of enzyme formulation and a bioreactor configuration that allows liquefaction of soybean hulls before further processing, which can ultimately be used in these dry grind facilities to produce significantly higher concentrations of ethanol. This is part of ongoing research where they have learned to modify flow properties by using cellulase and xylanase enzymes on the pericarp to make it into a slurry with concentrations of 300g/L to 450g/L. The hulls can be shipped to corn to ethanol plants from soy processing plants, liquefied, and then converted to ethanol. Not only will this technology make the process more efficient, but it will simplify the equipment required and increase demand for sustainable sources, such as corn fiber and soybean hulls, from corn and soybean farmers. In addition to ethanol processing, it will provide protein enhanced animal feed additives due to the soybean source and help facilities use current enzyme technologies with minimal added expenses. In the future, this technology has potential for use on other feedstocks such as soybean residue, corn stover, cobs and fiber, wheat straw, sugarcane bagasse, and hardwood (poplar).
-Less equipment required during ethanol processing
-Efficient enzyme use with less expenses
-Greater demand of corn and soybean
Oct 30, 2017
Apr 29, 2016
Apr 29, 2015
Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization
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