Chief Ethanol Fuels Delivers 62 Million Gallons of Bioethanol Annually

Chief Ethanol Fuels is engaged in the production of bioethanol, delivering about 62 million gallons every year. The ethanol plant of the company employs a continuous flow Vogelbusch process. The company runs the grain feedstock through hammer mill that grinds it into fine powder. This powdery meal is mixed with an enzyme known as alpha-amylase and water. When the mixture is heated to a temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit, it becomes as a mash.

Later, the mash is cooled and another enzyme, gluco amylase is added to it. This converts the starch into fermentable sugars. This process is called saccharification and it is followed by fermentation. Under the fermentation process conducted by Chief Ethanol Fuels, yeast is added to the mash. The mash is passed through many fermentation tanks where the sugars are converted into ethanol. By the time the mash reaches the beer well, which is the last tank, all the sugars would have been converted into alcohol.

The alcohol and residual non-fermentable solids are distilled in the distillation columns to separate the alcohol from solids. The solids come out through the base of distillation column to the centrifuge. Then the alcohol is sent through molecule sieve dehydration system. In the system, small cavities are created by heating small crystalline metal aluminosilicates beads. The cavities enable absorption of water as the alcohol passes through to produce anhydrous ethanol. To this, gasoline is added as a denaturant in order to make bioethanol meant for fuel use unsuitable for human consumption, as mandated by the law.


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