POET is helping to fund research at Iowa State University into starch for ethanol production in the hopes of finding starches to further improve the efficiency of POET’s patent-pending BPX™ process.
BPX is a raw starch hydrolysis that converts starch to sugar and then ferments to ethanol without the use of heat. It is utilized in 20 of POET’s 22 ethanol production facilities where its benefits include reduced energy costs, increased ethanol yields, increased nutrient quality in the feed co-products and decreased plant emissions.
ISU researcher Dr. Jay-Lin Jane says there are differences between the starches in different lines of corn. “We are trying to identify which lines of corn starches are more easily hydrolyzed by the enzyme and the mechanism of enzyme hydrolysis of uncooked cornstarch,” Jane said.
The best starch needs to break down more easily. Jane has found that starches with certain molecular and granular structures work best. “Some starches are loosely packed in the granule and can be hydrolyzed easily,” said Jane. “While others, especially those with different crystalline structures, will be difficult for the enzyme to hydrolyze,” she said.