An Opportunity For Ethanol Producers To Improve Margins

According to a report from the Energy Information Administration, operating margins for corn-based fuel ethanol plants decreased to a multi-year low in 2019. This was due in part because production continued to be high, despite limited domestic demand growth for fuel. In addition, small refinery exemptions have further hurt demand by allowing some blenders to reduce the required volumes of ethanol incorporated into fuels.

As margins on ethanol products remain tight, many ethanol producers choose to focus on value creation from ethanol co-products. Dried Distillers Grain with Solubles (DDGS) has long been an undervalued co-product. At 28-32% protein, it contains too much protein to realize its full value as ruminant feed, while at the same time being too low in protein to be utilized in high substitution ratios for monogastric feeds like aquaculture, swine and poultry. This is a common challenge across the animal feed industry, and represents a huge opportunity in the field of “precision animal nutrition”, defined as providing an animal with feed that precisely meets its nutritional requirements.

To get the most out of DDGS, ST Equipment & Technology (STET) offers its specialized processing technology to generate a 50% protein DDGS. Our triboelectrostatic dry separation process is completely independent from the ethanol production process, allowing it to be commissioned with no interruption to the ethanol plant operation. In addition, the system can be installed in phases or lines, so that production of the high protein product can be ramped up gradually, and investment costs can be spread out.

Despite the current market challenges, there is still a need for ethanol production. Why not take advantage of the co-product from the process to increase your margins and make the most out of the nation’s corn supply?