A new cellulosic ethanol system is being used by Quad County Corn Processors (QCCP) in Galva, IA to produce ethanol from corn kernel fiber.

QCCP has added a new cellulosic ethanol system to their plant in Galva, IA to increase the plant’s ethanol production. Credit: QCCP.

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The system has been named Cellerate and is a collaboration between Syngenta and Cellulosic Ethanol Technologies, LLC, a subsidiary of QCCP.

Cellerate increases an ethanol plant’s production by allowing the corn kernel fiber to be converted into cellulosic ethanol. The fiber is taken out of the corn as it leaves the ethanol production process and before it becomes dried distillers’ grains.

Other cellulosic ethanol plants in the U.S. use plant fibers like corn stover (similar to straw) for ethanol production. The Cellerate process uses the corn already purchased to make ethanol, just by adding a second fermentation process.

The process removes the kernel fiber, making the resulting distillers grains a high protein, low fiber feed product that resembles soybean meal in protein content. These grains are often used for livestock and poultry feed.

The technology is expected to boost the plant’s ethanol production by about 6%, as well as increasing the amount of corn oil that can be extracted from each bushel of corn.

Meanwhile, Quad County Corn Processors hosted a grand opening where the public could tour the ethanol plant’s new “bolt-on” refinery that turns corn kernel fibers into cellulosic ethanol. QCCP broke ground on the $8.5 million upgrade in July 2013.

“This is a historic day not just for the ethanol plant, but for the entire region. For the public to be able to see where we are making cellulosic ethanol on a daily basis means a lot to us,” said Delayne Johnson, CEO of Quad County Corn Processors.

“This is a perfect example of cutting edge technology, right here in our backyard and we are thrilled to have our plant using this ingenuity.”

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