VeraSun Energy has broken ground on a new Oil Extraction Facility in Aurora, South Dakota. The new facility will use technology that enables the large ethanol producer to generate two renewable fuels from one kernel of corn.
VeraSun Energy Corporation, one of the nation’s largest ethanol producers, today announced that it began work on an oil extraction facility at its 120 million-gallon-per-year (MMGY) ethanol biorefinery located near Aurora, S.D. The facility will utilize a technology designed to extract corn oil from distillers grains, a co-product of the ethanol production process.
Production is targeted to begin in the fourth quarter of 2008 and the process is expected to yield 7-8 million gallons of corn oil annually from 390,000 tons of distillers grains. The corn oil will be made available for sale to the biodiesel market. One gallon of corn oil yields approximately one gallon of biodiesel, increasing the production of renewable fuels without creating additional feedstock demand.
“The production of two biofuels from one kernel of corn makes economic and environmental sense,” said Pete Atkins, VeraSun vice president, corporate development. “This is a great example of the innovation that will continue to develop as the industry matures. We are pleased to contribute to the commercialization of this technology.”
VeraSun Energy first introduced the concept behind this new technology in 2006. The company plans to get the technology up and running at its Fort Dodge and Charles City, Iowa, biorefineries by the end of 2009.