Tuesday Truth #14: Ethanol Production Generates Numerous Co-Products

Ethanol production generates more than simply a renewable fuel source. According to the US Department of Energy, numerous co-products emerge through the ethanol production process.

  • Ethanol is primarily produced from the starch contained in grains such as corn, grain sorghum, and wheat. Through a fermentation and distillation process, the starch is converted to sugar and then to alcohol.
  • During the process of making ethanol in a dry mill operation, the first co-product produced is a high-protein animal feed, known as dried distillers grains with sollubles (DDGS). 
  • The second co-product is CO2, which is captured and marketed to the food processing industry for use in carbonated beverages or the production of dry ice.
  • Wet-mill ethanol plants are also able to produce corn oil, corn sweetener, and starch.
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