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Ethanol Production - Dry Milling Process

Corn Yeast

Grind Fermentation CO2 Fuel


190 P 200 P
Slurry Distillation Dehydration
Whole Stillage Storage

Centrifugation Dryer DDGS
Thin Stillage
Syrup Oxidizer

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Process Diagram Liquifaction

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Process Diagram Liquifaction


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Liquifaction - Introduction

Liquifaction is the process of breaking down complex

carbohydrates (starch) to dextrins (complex sugars).

Yeast is added during the Fermentation process to convert the

sugars to ethanol.

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Liquifaction - Overview

A second dose of alpha amylase is added to the mash being

pumped out of the bottom of the Flash Vessel on its way to
Liquifaction Tank #1.

Just as there is a temperature range where enzymes have

maximum activity, there is also a pH range where enzymes have
maximum activity:
When the pH deviates significantly from this range, the
enzyme begins to lose activity
As with temperature the enzyme can tolerate less than
ideal pH ranges only up to a point

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Liquifaction - pH Control

Anhydrous Ammonia (NH3) raises pH:

Often added to the slurry tank for pH adjustment
Also creates free nitrogen, an essential nutrient for yeast
MSDS Irritant and corrosive to skin, eyes, respiratory
tract and mucous membranes. May cause severe burns,
eye and lung injuries.

Sulfuric acid (H2SO4) lowers pH:

Also used to dissolve mineral deposits in heat exchangers
and evaporators
MSDS Extremely corrosive to all body tissues, causing
rapid tissue destruction and serious chemical burns. Skin
or eye contact requires immediate first aid.

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Liquifaction - Liquifaction Tanks

There are two Liquifaction Tanks:

Maintain temperature between 175-185F
Both tanks are agitated
Fed in a series with mash from the flash tank
Mash is fed into the bottom of the first tank and overflows
into the second tank
Mash is withdrawn from the bottom of the second tank and
pumped through heat exchangers to fermentation
There is a retention time of about 2 hours included in the
flow between both tanks - can be adjusted to ensure most
of the starch is broken down into a complex sugar called

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Liquifaction Liquifaction Tanks

Liquifaction Liquifaction
Tank #2 Tank #1

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Liquifaction Liquifaction Pumps

Flash Tank


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Liquifaction Beer/Mash Exchanger

Mash is pumped through a series of heat exchangers on its way to

the fermentation cycle.
The first is called the Beer/Mash Exchanger, where mash leaving
Liquifaction Tank #2 is cooled and beer leaving the Beerwell is
A significant amount of heat is recovered in this exchange so any
major adjustments to cook will affect distillation.

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Liquifaction Beer/Mash Exchanger

Beer Inlet
Beer Well
Mash Outlet
Mash Cooler

Beer Outlet
Mash Inlet Beer Column
Liq Pumps


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Liquifaction Mash Cooler

The Mash Cooler is the second heat exchanger. Its purpose is to

remove additional heat from the mash.
The cooling tower is the heat sink for this exchanger with mash
temperature set point at 90F.

Redundant Beer/Mash and Mash Cooler heat exchangers are

provided so they can be cleaned in place (CIP'd).

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Liquifaction Mash Cooler

Water Inlet

Mash Inlet Cooling

from Water Outlet

Mash Outlet
to Fermenter
at rear of Cooler
Mash Cooler
(not visible)

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Liquifaction - Summary

The purpose of liquifaction is to complete the solubilization of

Lasts about 120 minutes at approximately 185F
Hydrolyzes starch into low molecular weight glucose chains
called dextrins
Produces quality liquid for simultaneous saccharification
during fermentation

Saccharification - the process of breaking a complex

carbohydrate (as starch or cellulose) into its monosaccharide

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