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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Value Added Coproducts for Improving the Economics and Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Corn and Cellulosic Fuel Ethanol Production

Location: Sustainable Biofuels and Co-Products

Project Number: 1935-41000-085-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Mar 15, 2010
End Date: Mar 14, 2015

Objective:
1: Develop technologies that enable commercially-viable* processes for producing new, valuable coproducts from DDGS, thin stillage, pentoses, CO2 or other byproducts of ethanol biorefining. 2: Develop technologies that enable new, commercially-viable* processes to produce food-grade corn oil, proteins, phytochemicals or other high-value coproducts from ethanol biorefineries. 3: Develop fractionation, enzymatic and/or chemical technologies that enable commercially-viable, high-value, non-fermentation hemicellulose- and cellulose-based coproducts from lignocellulosics. * Potential commercial-viability will be regularly assessed with assistance from ONP, OTT and/or industrial partners.

Approach:
Technologies will be developed that produce valuable coproducts from low value biorefining byproducts using innovative microbiologic, enzymatic and chemical processing strategies. Carbon dioxide from fuel ethanol facilities, currently vented or compressed for uses that eventually return it to the atmosphere, will be biologically incorporated into stable, industrially important chemical compounds using microalgae and other CO2 utilizing microorganisms. Commercially viable processes for removing food-grade oils, proteins, phytochemicals or other high value components from biorefinery feedstock fractions will be developed by innovative aqueous-enzymatic extraction and other novel technologies. Functional hemicellulose and cellulose-based products will be extracted from ligno-cellulosic feedstocks for use in foods and industrial products using enzymatic and chemical processing technologies. The successful development of these technologies will result in improved energy and environmental properties for biofuels, the potential sequestration of carbon into useful feeds and chemicals and an increased economic competitiveness of the US biofuels industry from the sale of new higher value coproducts.

Last Modified: 8/31/2014
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