Wednesday, August 8, 2007

[PBN] Improvements in Wheat Biorefinery Process


New Process May Enable Motorists To Fill 'Er Up -- With Wheat

Science Daily — In a finding that could help put wheat alongside corn on
the menu of biofuel sources, researchers in the United Kingdom and
Greece report development of a new method for producing ethanol from wheat.

Researchers have developed an efficient method for producing ethanol
from wheat. (Credit: Courtesy of Scott Bauer, USDA-Agricultural Research

The technology - potentially cheaper and more efficient than
conventional methods for producing wheat-based biofuel - is scheduled
for the August 3 issue of ACS' Biotechnology Progress.

As oil prices soar, demand for bioethanol to stretch out supplies of
gasoline has increased dramatically, along with frenzied research
efforts to find the best raw materials for its economical production.

While most bioethanol in the United States is made from corn, wheat
"could be regarded as the preferred cereal grain for bioethanol
production" in Europe, where the grain is more widely grown, the article
states. But conventional methods for producing bioethanol from wheat are
complex and inefficient.

In the new study, Apostolis Koutinas and colleagues describe a
simplified biorefining method that uses fewer steps and less energy and
generates fewer waste products. Depending on the selected combination of
physical and biological treatment, this process also yields various
fractions enriched in bran, wheat germ and proteins that could be sold
or utilized for the extraction or production of value-added products,
boosting income of biorefineries, the scientists say. "This process
could substitute for the conventional wheat dry milling process that is
currently employed in industry."

Article: "Optimization and Cost Estimation of novel Wheat Biorefining
for Continuous Production of Fermentation Feedstock"

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by American
Chemical Society.

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