Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers explore turning fuel ethanol into beverage alcohol

29.08.2006
Fuel ethanol could be cheaply and quickly converted into the purer, cleaner alcohol that goes into alcoholic drinks, cough medicines, mouth washes and other products requiring food-grade alcohol, say Iowa State University researchers.

But there's still a lot of purifying and studying to be done before fuel made from corn is turned into your next vodka or mixed into your morning mouth wash.

Jacek Koziel, an Iowa State assistant professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, is leading a research project that's attempting to develop and refine two technologies that work together to efficiently purify and remove bad-tasting components from fuel ethanol. The project is partially supported by a $79,900 grant from the state's Grow Iowa Values Fund.

Koziel is collaborating on the project with Hans van Leeuwen, the vice president of MellO3z, a Cedar Rapids company that has developed technology for purifying alcoholic beverages. Van Leeuwen is also an Iowa State professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering.

... more about:
»Ethanol »Leeuwen »alcohol »gallon

Iowa certainly has an abundance of fuel ethanol for the researchers to work with. Iowa is the country's leading producer of fuel ethanol. The Iowa Corn Promotion Board says the state has 25 plants capable of producing 1.5 billion gallons per year with more plants on the way.

Van Leeuwen said the fuel produced by those plants and the alcohol produced for the beverage industry are very similar. But alcohol produced for fuel isn't made with the same care and purity as alcohol for consumption, he said. The multiple distillations required to make food-grade alcohol raise production costs to about 50 cents per gallon more than it costs to produce fuel ethanol.

Van Leeuwen said the researchers are working to develop technologies that can purify fuel into beverage alcohol for less than an additional penny per gallon.

"That's the whole point," van Leeuwen said. "And based on my experience treating water and wastewater with these technologies, this could cost a lot less than a cent per gallon."

The potential to cut costs has one large producer of ethanol and food-grade alcohol interested in the research project, van Leeuwen said.

Koziel said the researchers are using two purification technologies: they're bubbling ozone gas through the fuel to remove impurities and they're filtering the fuel through granular activated carbon to absorb impurities. A patent for the process is pending.

Underpinning the research is sophisticated chemical and sensory analysis of the raw fuel and the purified alcohol. Koziel will use a technology called solid phase microextraction to collect samples of the compounds in the alcohols. He'll also use a technology called gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to identify and quantify all the compounds in the samples. And he'll use his lab's olfactometry equipment to separate and analyze the smells created by the various compounds.

"If this is viable," Koziel said, "we are looking at adding a lot of value to relatively cheap fuel-grade ethanol."

Jacek Koziel | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.iastate.edu

Further reports about: Ethanol Leeuwen alcohol gallon

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A novel synthetic antibody enables conditional “protein knockdown” in vertebrates
20.08.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden

nachricht Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A novel synthetic antibody enables conditional “protein knockdown” in vertebrates

20.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Metamolds: Molding a mold

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

20.08.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>