Fuel for cars and trucks is certainly vital to the global economy, but food production should be our number one concern. If less than half of the 200 fuel ethanol plants in the U.S. were retrofitted for a more efficient process, we could better meet food needs around the world and reduce our dependency on foreign oil. Food could be exported at less cost and more corn could be processed here, increasing jobs in rural areas and reducing transportation costs.

GREAT NEWS: Genencor/Danisco (Accellerase DUET) and NOVO (Cellic Ctec2) are commercially available and economical to make Lignocellulosic ethanol a reality now. Langhauser Associates, Inc. (LAI) has under construction a skid mounted pilot plant that can be set up at any current plant. The retrofit Bio Grind is backed up with issued Patents for quick licensing. The commercial fractionation retrofit can be on line producing 48% oil germ, 48% protein Meal, and 2% Starch Fibre and cobs for Cellulosic ethanol without expanding the fermentation and distillation plant in less than nine months. Environmental discharges are reduced and contracts are available to market food grade germ for pristine oil, food grade starches, flour and meal for domestic and export.

HOW? Currently, 30 percent of the food value of corn used for the dry grind ethanol process and six percent of the food value of corn used for the wet grind process is wasted. If we switch to a patented continuous wet process involving fractionation, we get more food product and retain food nutritional value before the balance of solutes and starches is used to produce fuel ethanol. The LAI bio grind can be retrofitted in three steps without shutting the plant down at rates of 2-6,000/60,000 modules bushels per day and beyond.

When corn fiber is not fractionated during ethanol production, density is reduced and handling and transportation costs rise. Corn oil also reduces the volume that can be used for ruminant rations. When fiber is fractionated, it can be blended with recycled soluble catalysts, water and additional cellulosic materials. The resulting “lingo-cellulosic” production increases ethanol equivalent yield to four gallons per bushel with the best quality, costs and no process losses. Currently, the only continuously sustainable corn process utilizing the best Dry, Wet and LAI Bio grind processes (ICBR) published by the USPTO (14/255,018 Simultaneous Food & Fuel Corn Refining) October 2014.

The good news is this process can be added as a retrofit to any existing dry or wet grind plant. Many plants can be retrofitted for as little as 10 percent additional construction cost with a payback in savings of less than one year after taxes. Net-corn-costs and efficiencies will improve the bottom line by 30% or more.   The patented processes do not require new equipment, use less water, are environmentally friendly and can use any quality corn.

Let’s put food first, so the Midwest Corn Belt remains the world’s food basket and we become less dependent on foreign oil. Better ethanol production processes are the answer.

Leon H. Langhauser ,BS U of Illinois ACES, has worked in the Food and Fuel industry for more than 55 years retired from ADM as VP of Food Technology. Please contact him for more details and information on implementing this no-waste corn process.