Faculty Mentor

James Julson, Mike Twedt


Biodiesei is produced by adding methyl ester products to diesel fuel. Base catalyzed transesterification of oil with methanol is the primary process used today. Current dry mill ethanol production facilities allow the com oil to pass through the process where it becomes part of the dried distiller's grain with solubles (DDGS), a lower valued feed co-product. This study evaluated the economic feasibility of integrating a biodiesel production facility with existing and/or new dry mill ethanol plants. The following methods for com oil separation were considered; hexane extraction of com oil from the dried distiller's grain stream, initial germ separation and subsequent oil extraction from the germ, and extraction of oil from the thin stillage stream using a centrifuge. Currently the majority of research in the economics of biodiesel is focused on the use of soybean or canola oil to produce the product. Studies in Georgia (Shumaker et al.), Kansas (Coltrain), and North Dakota (Van Wechel et al.) have all focused on using soybeans as the initial oil source. This study is the initial evaluation for the use of com oil as the feed stock. The study found that all methods for oil separation showed potential for payback of capital investment in less than five years. This study found that producing biodiesel with com oil, from a dry mill ethanol plant, as a feed stock is economically feasible. Additionally, using com oil to the production of renewable fuels can help to decrease our nation's dependence on imported oil.



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