Corn ethanol plants take corn kernals and squeeze the sugar out. The sugar is fermented into ethanol. The left-over part is called "distiller grain", which really is junk food fed to cows. VeraSun (a very big corn ethanol company) is building a factory to take the distiller grain and squeeze the oil out of it. It then will use the oil to make biodiesel fuel. This is another example of the corn ethanol industry realizing that you must constantly become more efficient or you will go out of business.
VeraSun Gets Two For One
VeraSun Energy Corporation, one of the nation’s largest ethanol producers, today announced that it began work on an oil extraction facility at its 120 million-gallon-per-year (MMGY) ethanol biorefinery located near Aurora, S.D. The facility will utilize a technology designed to extract corn oil from distillers grains, a co-product of the ethanol production process.
Production is targeted to begin in the fourth quarter of 2008 and the process is expected to yield 7-8 million gallons of corn oil annually from 390,000 tons of distillers grains. The corn oil will be made available for sale to the biodiesel market. One gallon of corn oil yields approximately one gallon of biodiesel, increasing the production of renewable fuels without creating additional feedstock demand.