What the Emergency Fuel Waiver for E-15 Means for DDGS Production?

President Biden recently announced that the E-15 fuel alternative would be available to sell over the summer months. This increase in sales will also increase the production of ethanol and its co-products. One of the co-products—DDGS—is a protein-rich feed ingredient choice for ruminants, swine and poultry in the agricultural industry. In order to get the most from the DDGS co-product, ethanol producers should look to separation technology. ST Equipment & Technology uses electrostatic separation to increase the protein content in DDGS and offer ethanol producers a new revenue stream.

What is E-15?

E-15 is a renewable fuel alternative that utilizes ethanol to reduce carbon emissions. Ethanol has a lower carbon intensity by 40-50% as compared to gasoline from petroleum. E-15 is more environmentally friendly because it creates a blend of 15% ethanol to 85% gasoline with a lower carbon footprint and burns cleaner than other gasoline options. 

In accordance with the Clean Air Act, E-15 is banned from being sold in the summer due to concerns about air pollution. However, due to the Russia/Ukraine crisis and the impact on gasoline sales, President Biden has released an Emergency Fuel Waiver program that allows for E-15 to be sold this summer. This decision was made in an effort to reduce fuel costs and provide drivers with alternative fuel options.

What is DDGS?

Because E-15 requires more ethanol for blending, ethanol production is expected to increase. During the production of ethanol, co-products are also created. One of these co-products—DDGS—is also expected to increase in sales as well. DDGS (dry distillers grains with solubles) is a co-product of ethanol production that is used as feed for agricultural animals.

What Does the Rise of E-15 Sales Mean for DDGS Production? 

According to the USDA, “Mirroring expanding ethanol production, DDG production has trended upward since the early 2000s, […] While supply has grown significantly, upward price trends suggest that demand has kept pace with supply […] Since DDGS is a coproduct of ethanol production, ultimately production of DDGS depends either on gasoline demand.” This means that as the demand for ethanol increases, so too does the production of DDGS. 

The Growing Needs for High-Quality DDGS

Since DDGS is a protein-rich co-product of ethanol production, many farmers and businesses in the agricultural sector will utilize it as feed for livestock. However, the immediate co-product available from ethanol production does not contain enough protein to be used in higher-value feed applications such as aquaculture and pet food in large quantities. 

In order to manufacture DDGS ingredients that are best suited to both ruminants and monogastrics, many ethanol producers are looking at methods to fractionate the DDGS into protein-rich and protein lean products. STET offers a water-free fractionation process that can generate a high-value protein ingredient that meets the needs and demands of monogastric feeds. 

How ST Equipment & Technology is Helping

ST Equipment & Technology offers a DDGS fractionation process that is entirely independent of the ethanol plant. The STET separation process can be located adjacent to an ethanol plant, or anywhere in the DDGS ingredient value chain (outside of a feed mill, for example). The STET process is highly effective at generating a 48% protein DDGS fraction which is suitable for use in high-value aqua and pet rations. The fiber-rich material remains a highly desirable ingredient in cattle and dairy rations. 

Is your ethanol plant or feed mill ready to expand its revenue through the creation of high-protein DDGS? ST Equipment & Technology can help. Through our state-of-the-art technology and separation techniques, STET has helped customers all over the world improve profitability sustainably. Want to learn more? Contact us today!