KWIT

Renewable Fuels Summit Features Cellulosic Ethanol

Jan 29, 2017

How renewables are made from corn.

New corn fiber conversion technology could boost the number of gallons that Iowa ethanol plants can produce. That will be one of the topics at the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit tomorrow.  Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw says a traditional ethanol plant turns the starch of a corn kernel into ethanol, while the rest goes to make other products. 

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“It goes on and becomes other products, either distiller’s grains, which is feed to livestock or take the corn oil off as well and sell it separately, either to livestock producers or sometimes it’s even used to produce biodiesal.”

Shaw says new technologies break down the much tougher molecular bonds in a kernal’s fiber to make cellulosic ethanol.  He says state and federal programs support the fuel because it has low carbon standards.  Shaw says it’s also a good use of corn fiber that cattle really don’t need.

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“They have plenty of fiber in their ration from other things, and it actually yields a much higher protein on a percentage basis of livestock feed that makes it more valuable.  So it looks like it’s going to be a real win-win.”

The Summit is being held tomorrow at Prairie Meadows in Altoona.  It’s free and open to the public.  To register, go to iowarfa.org/summit.