A new enzyme product allows production of 2.5 percent more ethanol from a given volume of corn, according to the product’s manufacturer. The Denmark-based company, Novosymes, claims the product will improve profitability in ethanol production while reducing the industry’s use of corn, which is the single largest input cost for ethanol plants.
According to a Novozymes news release, a typical U.S. ethanol plant uses around 900,000 tons of feed-grade corn per year to produce 100 million gallons of fuel ethanol. At that volume also produces 300,000 tons of distillers’ grains for use as feed and 8,500 tons of corn oil. With Avantec, such a plant can save 22,500 tons of corn while maintaining the same ethanol output. Presumably, production of distillers’ grains would decline proportionate to the reduction in corn volume.
“Most U.S. ethanol plants convert 90 to 95 percent of the available starch, so there is significant potential for plant owners to increase output and maximize profits,” says Novozymes executive vice president Peder Holk Nielsen. “In fact, if all ethanol plants in the U.S. started using Avantec, they would save 3 million tons of corn.”