Biofuel: corn in the engine

Four ethanol producers (VeraSun, Glacial Lakes Energy, KAAPA Ethanol and Golden Grain Energy) and the technology company Ethanol Oil Recovery Systems have established a partnership that could open up new outlets for the ethanol sector.

The collaborative project, called SunSource BioEnergy, has already made it possible to test, with success it seems, a new process for extracting from corn an oil of good enough quality to be used as a biofuel.

The device developed is mechanical and can be easily installed, according to its designers, on ethanol production plants by the so-called dry grinding process. Until now, the only way to remove the oil from the corn germ was through chemical treatment - the product obtained, intended for animal feed, not being usable as a biofuel.

SunSource BioEnergy also plans to construct a $ 40 million-cost biodiesel plant with a capacity of 189 million liters that will purify corn oil and convert it into biofuel. This initiative should thus offer both an additional source of supply to the biodiesel industry (now largely dependent on soybeans) and diversification, a guarantee of new income, for American ethanol companies which operate 85 plants for a production of 14,4 billion liters per year (15 other units are under construction).

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Source: France-science, the 17 / 07 / 2005 to 17h15

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