The Associated Press circulated this article that originated in the Kansas City Star which includes a sidebar on how to make ethanol from corn. I thought it was so interesting I decided to make a recipe out of it! (Warning: do not try this at home!)
So, here’s your basic recipe for ethanol:
(calls for 16 million bushels of corn to make 45 million gallons of ethanol – per year)
First, take 315,000 bushels of corn (per week), tested for quality
Ground corn into flour and mix well with hot liquids and enzymes to convert the starches into sugar for fermenting.
Add yeast to newly converted sugars; mixture will turn into alcohol as carbon dioxide gathers at the top of the fermenting tank.
Pump this mixture of solids, alcohol and water (called “beer mash”) into tanks; heat until gravity separates the liquids from the solids.
Use molecular sieve to separate water from the alcohol – which creates 200 proof grain alcohol – also known as ethanol.
Separate out your by-products – carbon dioxide and dry distiller’s grains – and save for later use (both can be sold separately)
Finally, poison your ethanol with a little dab of natural gasoline (a federal requirement to keep people from drinking it instead of putting it in their cars)
Result: 95 percent pure ethanol which can now be blended with gasoline and sold as E85 or E10
Total time: 2-3 days from delivery of corn to finished product