According to Syngenta, the combination of Cellerate process technology with Enogen can increase ethanol production by 20 percent. The 18 day trial was conducted at the Quad County Corn Processors (QCCP) plant. Since going online, the ethanol plant has produced more than 3 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol via the Cellerate process. The resulting ethanol is sold as a D3 Rin under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and the pathway will be submitted to the California Air Resources Board for approval.
QCCP CEO Delayne Johnson says this dramatic increase was achieved by realizing an additional 6 percent yield per bushel from converting corn kernel fiber into ethanol, plus a 14 percent throughput increase by combining Cellerate with Enogen. Developed at QCCP in Galva, Iowa, Cellerate is a collaboration between Syngenta and Cellulosic Ethanol Technologies (CET), LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of QCCP.
“Without changes to the conventional starch ethanol process, Cellerate offers advantages to ethanol plants including pre-treatment in the fiber that allows whole stillage processing without the requirement to separate all the fiber and starch,” Johnson said. “Pre-treatment breaks down fiber, allowing mild whole stillage fiber treatment with pH low enough to prevent starch degradation. This reduces the time, chemicals and energy required. It also allows a plant to load significantly more solids and capture residual starch, sugars and cellulosic component in a second fermentation process.”
Johnson continued, “With Cellerate, the biofuels industry now has the technology available to create 2 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol – all from the same kernel of corn.”
“Cellerate can help ethanol producers improve the protein content of dried distillers grains to as much as 40 percent (DM) and boost total yield of distillers corn oil up to a potential 1.6 pounds per bushel (QCCP is currently achieving 1.1 pounds per bushel),” added Jack Bernens, head of Enogen at Syngenta. “We believe that not only will Cellerate process technology help make advanced and cellulosic ethanol a reality, but the combination of Cellerate and Enogen could represent the next step forward for ethanol production.”