Advances in Ethanol

Coarse Grind Milling

The overall process is designed to operate with coarse-milled grain. Grain fragments as large as ΒΌ of a kernel are allowed without an adverse impact on process operations or efficiency. Several plants have demonstrated a measurable increase in ethanol yield per bushel of grain with increased screen sizes. The coarse grind milling system provides for reduced power and maintenance on the milling equipment. In addition, the increased particle size distribution improves the operating efficiency of the decanter centrifuges, evaporators and DDGS dryers.

Flexible Feedstocks

Facilities are designed to process numerous cereal grains without major changes in process equipment, plant configuration or operating practices. Feedstocks capable of being processed include but are not limited to: corn, grain sorghum or milo, wheat, barley, triticale, field peas, cassava, sugar beets, sugar cane, potatoes, molasses, and cheese whey permeate.

Vacuum Liquefaction

The design of the liquefaction process combines the auto-refrigeration mash cooling process with enzymatic hydrolysis into a single process step. The net effect is a process with minimal pieces of process equipment, reducing the installed cost and operating costs relating to power requirements, maintenance, and consumption.

Simultaneous Saccharification and Fermentation (SSF)

SSF was first commercially implemented by KATZEN in 1981 at a plant capacity of 65 million gallons per year. The starch-based SSF process was developed in association with KATZEN's activities relating to technologies for the enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulosic feedstocks. Today, SSF is the fermentation process used in 90% of grain-based ethanol plants in operation.

High Yield Fermentation

The highest ethanol yields in the industry have been demonstrated on a sustainable basis in KATZEN plants. The yield is a result of an overall process technology package which:

  1. Maximizes the recovery of the non-starch carbohydrate content of the grain kernel.
  2. Optimizes the hydrolysis of the starch fraction of the kernel and minimizes retrogradation reactions.
  3. Provides for effective sterilization of the grain solids and recycled stream that are often a source of microbial contamination in the fermentation process.
  4. Provides for sanitary operations within the financial constraints placed upon motor fuel grade ethanol facilities.
  5. Sustains high yield operations while operating with enzyme and nutrient costs significantly lower than the industry average.

Disc and Donut Beerstill

Provides for extended operations without downtime for cleaning column internals. Operations periods of over four years between maintenance have been demonstrated in KATZEN plants.

Pressure Cascade Distillation

The distillation system is designed for pressure cascade operations providing for high efficiency, minimal downtime and reduced capital equipment costs.

Direct Coupled Molecular Sieve Dehydration

The use of our rectifying column operating at elevated pressures eliminates the need to revaporize the molecular sieve feed, reducing the associated energy demand and equipment cost.

High Solids Evaporation

Provides for extended operations at product solids concentrations up to 40 wt.%.

High Quality DDGS

The overall process design and demonstrated high yield fermentation results in an exceptional quality DDGS. The reduction in the concentrations of unconverted starches and bacterial metabolic byproducts results in higher protein content DDGS.

Zero Discharge Process

KATZEN processes call for total recycle or recovery of all process fluids including:

  1. Evaporator condensate
  2. Thin stillage
  3. CIP rinses
  4. Spent CIP solutions
  5. Floor washings
  6. Process spills

Future Applications

Major processes and equipment items can be designed for future application in biomass-to-ethanol process. Units operations are designed for:

  1. High non-Newtonian fluids.
  2. Saturated Calcium salt solutions.

High-Moisture Corn Processing

KATZEN-designed plants are capable of processing high-moisture corn (greater than 25 wt.%) providing a reduction in feedstock costs due to the elimination of the drying step normally required by the grain producer. Furthermore, a plant that processes high-moisture corn can take direct delivery of the feedstock, which eliminates costs associated with elevator storage of grain.

Integrated Feedlot Operations

Integrated feedlot plants are able to directly feed wet cake to livestock thereby eliminating the drying process. This results in a significant reduction in capital investment and eliminates the corresponding costs of operating and maintaining the equipment associated with the drying process.

The plant operating costs are further reduced due to the shared overhead between the feedlot and ethanol production facilities.