Ethanol Production Facility
The Integrated bioRefinery™ uses high-starch wheat to produce ethanol. The process is almost exactly the same as that used to produce spirits, though on a much larger scale.
Annually 110 thousand tonnes of high-starch wheat (as opposed to the high protein wheat that is used for human food products), will be milled, cooked, and processed by yeast and enzymes to yield 40 million liters of ethanol once distilled. The process produces large amounts of distillers grains that have their best value as feed for cattle.
Fuel Ethanol is a colorless liquid that when pure burns with properties similar to gasoline. Fuel Ethanol is the same alcohol that is found in wine, beer and spirits, but it has been denatures with a chemical to make it unfit for human consumption.
Fuel Ethanol can be used in all gasoline engines at concentrations of up to 10%, known as E10, and in some gasoline engines called “Flex-Fuel” engines, it can be used in concentrations of up to 85%. At this high level, the fuel is known as E85.
Ethanol used for fuel reduces greenhouse gases by offsetting a certain amount of fossil fuel, essentially extending the fossil fuel supply. And since ethanol from our Integrated bioRefinery™ uses renewable energy in it’s production, it does a better job of extending the supply of gasoline than ethanol of plants that use conventional methods of production.
Wet Distillers Grains
Wet Distillers Grains are the remaining portions of the wheat that was added to the ethanol process after the distillation is complete. Most of the starch from the wheat is converted to ethanol by yeast, while the proteins and any lipids remain unused.
These remaining portions of the grain are valuable and palatable as feed for cattle. In the Integrated bioRefinery™, since it is located so close to Highland Feeders Ltd., there is no need to use enormous amounts of energy drying these distillers grains for long shelf life the way some ethanol plants are forced to. There is no need to use massive amounts of fuel to transport the distillers grains long distances to far away markets. Instead, distillers grains are consumed wet by the nearby cattle, which means major energy savings to the Integrated bioRefinery™, and even reduces the amount of water that the cattle consume in the course of their day, extending the local water supply considerably!