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Rural Business and

Cooperative
Programs
Research
Report 214
Whey to Ethanol: A
Biofuel Role for Dairy
Cooperatives?
Abstract
Pertinent information regarding whey-to-fuel ethanol production is explored and
reviewed. A potential of producing up to 203 million gallons of fuel ethanol from whey
in 2006 was estimated, and dairy cooperatives could have a share of 65 million gal-
lons. Two whey-ethanol plants are currently operated by dairy cooperatives, producing
a total of 8 million gallons a year. Successful operations of the plants since the 1980s
indicate that (1) fuel ethanol production from whey is technically feasible, (2) whey-to-
fuel ethanol production technologies and processes are mature and capable of being
adopted for commercial operations, and (3) producing fuel ethanol from whey is eco-
nomically feasible. However, in this era of whey products' price uncertainties, a key
consideration in assessing the feasibility of a new whey-ethanol venture should be the
valuation of the opportunity cost of whey as feedstock for fermentation. A new whey-
ethanol plant probably should have an annual production capacity of at least 5 million
gallons of ethanol. Some historical lessons on the pitfalls to avoid are summarized.
Key Words: Whey, whey permeate, permeate mother liquor, lactose, ethanol, dairy
cooperatives.
Whey to Ethanol: A Biofuel Role for Dairy Cooperatives?
K. Charles Ling
Agricultural Economist
USDA Rural Development
Research Report 214
February 2008
Cover illustration from photograph of Dairy Farmers of Americas whey-to-ethanol plant
in Corona, California, courtesy Dairy Farmers of America.
Preface
In this era of looking for alternative energy sources, the idea of fermenting lactose in
surplus whey (which traditionally has been regarded as a waste product) to produce
fuel ethanol has gained attention. This study sets out to explore issues that are perti-
nent to understanding the viability of producing fuel ethanol from whey:
G The volume of lactose in whey that is available for fermentation and the potential vol-
ume of fuel ethanol production.
G The current status of whey-to-fuel ethanol production.
G The technologies and processes of producing fuel ethanol from whey.
G The costs and returns of producing fuel ethanol from whey.
G The organization of the whey-ethanol enterprise and the role dairy cooperatives may
play.
Acknowledgements
The author would like to thank Mr. John Desmond of the Carbery Group and Dr. M.
Clark Dale of Bio-Process Innovation, Inc., for providing information on the whey-
ethanol production processes. For their cooperation in sharing information about whey-
ethanol plant operations, the Dairy Farmers of America and Land O'Lakes are also
gratefully acknowledged. Credits are also due to many people who were consulted
during the course of this study.
Mention of company and brand names does not signify endorsement over other com-
panies' products and services.
i
Contents
Highlights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .iv
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Potential Volume of Ethanol from Whey Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Volume of surplus lactose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Potential ethanol volume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Share of dairy cooperatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Processes of Whey Permeate to Ethanol Conversion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
The Basics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
The Economics of Producing Fuel Ethanol From Whey Permeate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Estimated cost of producing fuel ethanol from whey permeate . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Cost of whey permeate as feedstock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
Economic feasibility of producing fuel ethanol from whey permeate . . . . . . . .12
Economy of scale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
Whey-Ethanol Plant Scenarios and Roles of Dairy Cooperatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
A cheese-whey/ethanol complex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
Multi-plant coordination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
Roles of dairy cooperatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
Some Specic Issues in Whey-Ethanol Production . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Some Historical Lessons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
Appendix I. The Carbery Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
Appendix II. The Processes of Bio-Process Innovation, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
List of Tables
Table 1Whey and modied whey products production, 2001-2006,
United States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
ii
Table 2Average annual prices of whey products, carlot or trucklot quantities
in bulk packages, F.O.B., 2001-2006, and monthly prices since 2006 . . . . . . . .4
Table 3Estimated volume of lactose in whey products, 2006 . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Table 4Comparison of lactose volumes that may be used for ethanol
production, 2003-2006 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Table 5Lactose input and estimated feedstock cost per gallon of ethanol at
selected yield level . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
Table 6Whey products production by product and month, United States,
2006-2007 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
List of Figures
Figure 1Major products and uses derived from whey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Figure 2Basic steps of whey-ethanol production . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
iii
Highlights
An estimated 90.5 billion pounds of whey was generated as a byproduct of cheese
production in 2006. Besides the liquid carrier, the composition of whey is approximate-
ly 0.3 percent butterfat, 0.8 percent whey proteins, 4.9 percent lactose, and 0.5 per-
cent minerals. Cumulatively, there were 4.4 billion pounds of lactose contained in the
whey produced that year.
Whey may be made into many products with various processes and technologies.
Condensed whey, dry whey, dry modied whey, whey protein concentrate and isolates,
as well as lactose (crystallized and dried) are the often cited whey products. There are
many other secondary and tertiary products that can be derived from whey, but the vol-
ume of whey used in these products is relatively small.
Whey products produced in 2006 contained an estimated total of 1.9 billion pounds of
lactose. Therefore, about 2.5 billion pounds of surplus lactose were unaccounted for
by whey products. This vast amount of surplus lactose could be fermented to produce
an estimated 203 million gallons of ethanol, assuming complete consumption of lac-
tose in fermentation and ethanol conversion efficiency at 100 percent of the theoretical
yield. Dairy cooperatives' share of the whey-ethanol potential could be 65 million gal-
lons.
There are two industrial-scale whey-ethanol plants in the United States, at Corona,
Calif., and Melrose, Minn. Both began operation in the 1980s and are currently owned
and operated by dairy cooperatives. Together they produce 8 million gallons of fuel
ethanol a year.
The whey-to-ethanol plant commissioned in 1978 by Carbery Milk Products Ltd. of
Ireland is believed to be the rst modern commercial operation to produce potable
(drinkable) alcohol. Starting in 1985, it has produced fuel ethanol as well. The Carbery
process developed by the company has been adopted by plants in New Zealand and
the United States. New Zealand started using fuel ethanol produced from whey in
August 2007.
All ethanol production processes share some basic principles and steps. Whey perme-
ate from protein ultraltration is concentrated by reverse osmosis to attain high lactose
content. Lactose is fermented with some special strains of yeast. Once the fermenta-
tion is completed, the liquid (beer) is separated and moved to the distillation process to
extract ethanol. This ethanol is then sent through the rectier for dehydration and then
denatured. The effluent (stillage and spent yeast) may be discharged to a treatment
system, digested for methane gas, sold as feed, or further processed into food, feed or
other products.
To be economically viable, a dehydration plant (and by inference, an ethanol plant)
needed to have a minimum daily capacity of 60,000 liters of ethanol (about 15,850 gal-
lons a day or ve million gallons a year), according to a 2005 New Zealand report. The
estimated at-gate cost (operating and capital service costs) of producing ethanol from
whey permeate at maximum technical potential, with a level of uncertainty of +/- 20
percent, was N.Z. $0.6-0.7 per liter. Using a currency exchange rate of N.Z. $1 = U.S.
$0.7, the estimated cost translated to U.S. $1.60-1.85 per gallon. This estimate is simi-
lar to the costs quoted by sources in the United States: about $1 per gallon of operat-
ing cost and a capital service cost that is predicated on the capital cost ranging from
$1.50 to $4 per annual gallon for a commercial operation, depending on the scale of
the plant. The estimated operating cost assumes that whey permeate used in ethanol
iv
fermentation is a free (no cost) feedstock. Capital cost is the cost of the plant construc-
tion project.
There is an opportunity cost of lactose for ethanol fermentation only if there are com-
peting uses of the same lactose, such as manufacturing dry whey, lactose, or other
whey products. If there is no such competition, then the whey permeate somehow has
to be disposed of and the opportunity cost of lactose for ethanol fermentation is likely
to be zero or even negative.
It takes 12.29 pounds of lactose to produce a gallon of ethanol, if the lactose is com-
pletely consumed in fermentation and ethanol conversion efficiency is 100 percent of
the theoretical yield. For every $0.01 net lactose value (price of lactose net of proces-
sor's cost), the feedstock cost for fermentation would be $0.1229 per gallon of ethanol.
If lactose consumption is less than complete in fermentation and ethanol conversion
efficiency is less than 100 percent of the theoretical yield, then more than 12.29
pounds of lactose is required to produce a gallon of ethanol and the feedstock cost
would be higher.
Whether it is economically feasible to produce ethanol from whey permeate is deter-
mined by the balance of the production costs and the expected revenues. Net returns
from the ethanol enterprise should be measured against the protability of making
other whey products or of other uses, to determine whether ethanol production is a
more worthwhile undertaking. A further consideration should be which of the whey
enterprises t best with a cooperative's overall business strategy.
The fact that the two whey-ethanol plants have been in operation for more than 20
years is an indication that (1) fuel ethanol production from whey is technically feasible,
(2) whey-to-fuel ethanol production technologies and processes are mature and capa-
ble of being adopted for commercial operations, and (3) producing fuel ethanol from
whey is economically feasible.
In assessing the feasibility of a new whey-ethanol plant, the cost of whey permeate as
feedstock needs to be carefully evaluated in this era of whey products' price uncertain-
ties. Other important factors to consider besides the feedstock cost are (1) an appro-
priate plant scale that would minimize capital cost and the cost of assembling feed-
stock, (2) an appropriate technology and processes that would minimize operating
cost, (3) best alternatives for using and/or disposing of the effluent, (4) ethanol price,
and (5) various government production incentives.
Dairy cooperatives are certainly well-positioned to coordinate whey assembly for
ethanol production. However, in view of the current high and unsettled dry whey prod-
ucts prices, there are great uncertainties concerning the long-term development of the
whey-ethanol production enterprise.
There was a very high attrition rate of fuel ethanol plants during the decade of 1980s.
Experiences of that period provide some lessons that may be relevant to future com-
mercial whey-ethanol development. To be successful, a fuel ethanol plant should have
proper technology selection, proper engineering design, adequate research support,
credible feasibility studies, adequate nancing; and personnel with technical and man-
agerial expertise in the biochemical process.
v
Whey to Ethanol: A Biofuel Role for Dairy
Cooperatives?
K. CharIes Ling
AgricuIluraI Iconomisl
USDA RuraI DeveIopmenl
Introduction
A lolaI of 90.5 biIIion pounds of vhey vas esli-
maled lo have been generaled as a byproducl of cheese
produclion in 2006, comprising aboul 85.8 biIIion
pounds of sveel vhey and 4.7 biIIion pounds of acid
vhey (TabIe 1, ncxi pagc). A generaI ruIe of lhumb is
lhal lhe voIume of sveel vhey is aboul nine limes lhe
voIume of cheese produced and lhe acid vhey voIume
is aboul six limes lhal of collage cheese. Over lhe Iasl 5
years, from 2001 lo 2006, lhe voIume of vhey
increased by 15 percenl, commensurale vilh lhe
increases in lhe produclion of cheeses.
The composilion of vhey varies vilh lhe compo-
nenls in miIk lhal is used for making cheese, lhe vari-
ely of cheese made, and lhe cheese-making process
empIoyed. Whey conlains approximaleIy 0.3 percenl
bullerfal, 0.8 percenl vhey proleins, 4.9 percenl Iac-
lose, and 0.5 percenl mineraIs (Wisccnsin Ccnicr jcr
Oairu |cscarcn).
ullerfal is lradilionaIIy of high vaIue, and mosl
pIanls separale il for use as an ingredienl for furlher
processing. The remaining vhey may be made inlo
various producls by using an array of processes and
lechnoIogies, or is olhervise disposed of (TabIe 1 and
Iigure 1, pagc 3).
Whey can be condensed or concenlraled, dried,
fermenled, deIaclosed, demineraIized, and depro-
leinaled. Il is adaplabIe lo uIlrafiIlralion, reverse
osmosis, ion exchange, eIeclrodiaIysis, and nanofiIlra-
lion (Kcsikcuski. ci a|).
The main vhey producls are dry producls: dry
vhey, Iaclose, and vhey prolein concenlrale (TabIe 1
and Iigure 1). These vhey producls are slorabIe for
Ialer dislribulion over a vide area, even inlernalionaI-
Iy. Condensed vhey aIso uses a significanl amounl of
vhey, bul lhe markel is Iimiled due lo ils vel form.
There are many olher secondary and lerliary
producls lhal can be derived from vhey (Kcsikcuski. ci
a|). Hovever, lhe voIume of vhey used in lhese prod-
ucls is reIaliveIy smaII (Yang. ci a|).
WhiIe vhey producls have found vider uses in
recenl years and of Iale have become vaIuabIe com-
modilies (labIe 2 and sidebar, page 4), making lhese
producls vas originaIIy considered a Iover-cosl, Iasl-
resorl aIlernalive lo dumping surpIus vhey.
Mosl of lhe componenls of vhey can quickIy
depIele oxygen IeveIs in naluraI valer syslems
(Hani|icn). The biochemicaI oxygen demand (OD) of
vhey is aboul 3.5 pounds per 100 pounds of vhey or
35,000 ppm, and ils chemicaI oxygen demand (COD) is
aboul 68,000 ppm (Wc||. ci a|). Such high IeveIs of poI-
Iulanls make disposing of vhey probIemalic.
Melhods of disposing of surpIus vhey incIude
animaI feeding, Iand spreading, or discharging il afler
lrealmenl for OD reduclion. There are aIso some
recenl cases of feeding vhey lo anaerobic digeslers lo
produce melhane gas (Oairu |acis).
AnimaI feeding and Iand spreading have Iimila-
lions (Cciancn. ci a|. Wcn!cjj. Kcsikcuski. ci a|).
Conlinuous Iand disposaI of cheese vhey can endan-
ger lhe physicaI and chemicaI slruclure of lhe soiI,
decrease lhe crop yieId, and Iead lo serious valer poI-
Iulion probIems (Bc|cn. ci a|).
Trealing vhey for OD reduclion before dis-
charging il is coslIy. As an exercise lo evaIuale lhe
cosl, cursory searches on lhe Inlernel seIecled 20
sevage dislricls in as many Slales (nol a random sam-
pIe) lhal posled cIearIy discernibIe sevage rales on
voIume, OD, elc., for 2006-07. Average voIume
charge vas $2.50 per 1,000 gaIIons of sevage (3 cenls
1
2
per hundredveighl) discharged, and average OD sur-
charge vas $0.27 per pound of OD lhal vas above a
basic IeveI, usuaIIy 200-300 ppm. In addilion, some
|urisdiclions aIso had surcharges on COD and olher
poIIulanls.
These various charges highIighl lhe high cosl of
surpIus vhey disposaI. Making vhey producls
reduces lhe surpIus vhey voIume, saves on lhe cosl of
disposing of vhey, and has lhe prospecl of breaking
even or making profil in vhey pIanl operalions. Thus,
il is imporlanl for lhe induslry lo find nev vays lo use
more vhey.
Advances in membrane and fiIlralion lechnoIogy
since lhe Iale 1970s enabIe processors lo harvesl
vhey proleins, vhich are of high nulrilionaI vaIue. In
recenl years, vhey proleins have become popuIar for
use in forlifying more and more foods, beverages,
infanl formuIas, and nulraceulicaIs. The grovlh in
demand has pushed up vhey prolein concenlrale pro-
duclion by 20 percenl in 3 years since 2003 and vhey
prolein isoIales by 37 percenl (TabIe 1).
Harvesling vhey proleins sliII poses lhe probIem
of deaIing vilh vhey permeale, vhich relains mosl of
lhe Iaclose and olher soIids. Whey permeale may be
dried for feed or food uses, bul lhe Iargesl voIume is
used lo produce Iaclose. Hovever, Iaclose has some-
vhal Iimiled appIicalion in food producls because of
ils Iov digeslibiIily and poor soIubiIily: il is prone lo
cryslaIIizalion (Au!ic. ci a|. A|cxan!cr. ci a|). In addilion,
producing Iaclose has a Ieflover produclpermeale
molher Iiquor, vhich conlains aboul 60 percenl Iaclose
(dry basis)lhal sliII needs lo be disposed of (Oa|c. ci
a|).
The issue of profilabIy handIing lhe Iarge voIume
of surpIus vhey remains. Iroducing elhanoI by fer-
menling Iaclose conlained in vhey, vhey permeale,
and permeale molher Iiquor may be a promising aIler-
nalive. In common usage, elhanoI is oflen referred lo
simpIy as aIcohoI.
The besl knovn, firsl commerciaIIy operaled
vhey-lo-elhanoI pIanl vas commissioned in ApriI
1978 by Carbery MiIk Iroducls Lld. of IreIand lo pro-
duce polabIe (drinkabIe) aIcohoI (San!|acn). Since 2005,
lhe company has been suppIing elhanoI made from
vhey lo an oiI firm for I85 and I5 bIends (Tnc Maxc|
Grcup. |risn |xanincr.ccn).
The Carbery process has been adopled by pIanls
in Nev ZeaIand and lhe Uniled Slales.
InlernalionaIIy, lhe mosl nolabIe vhey-lo-elhanoI
producer is Anchor IlhanoI Lld, vhich is vhoIIy
ovned by lhe Nev ZeaIand dairy cooperalive
Ionlerra. Il operales lhree elhanoI pIanls vilh an
annuaI lolaI produclion of aboul 5 miIIion gaIIons, and
cIaims lo be lhe Iargesl elhanoI producer in lhe vorId
lhal uses vhey (from casein pIanls in lhis case) as feed-
slock. The elhanoI has been used for food, beverage
and induslriaI appIicalions (Ancncr |inanc|. Mack|c).
eginning on Augusl 1, 2007, lhe company's fueI
Table 1Fluid whey, and whey and modied-whey products produced, 2001-2006, United States
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Estimated uid whey volume
1
: -----Billion pounds-----
Sweet type 74.3 76.9 77.0 79.9 82.3 85.8
Acid type 4.5 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.7
Total 78.8 81.4 81.6 84.6 87.0 90.5
Whey and modied-whey products: -----1,000 pounds-----
Condensed whey, solids, sweet
type, human 81,484 108,250 114,656 91,227 79,247 106,919
Dry whey 1,045,655 1,115,321 1,085,165 1,034,898 1,040,692 1,100,346
Reduced lactose and minerals 129,245 124,670 84,110 84,893 98,371 91,596
Lactose 519,161 563,110 613,976 665,621 713,975 738,656
Whey protein concentrate 336,221 313,239 357,944 355,854 383,926 427,724
Whey protein isolates
2
22,333 27,677 27,595 30,673
Whey solids in wet blends, animal
3
39,851 37,656
1
Estimated at 9 times cheese production for sweet whey and 6 times cottage cheese for acid whey.
2
New data series started with the year 2003. (Dairy Products, October 4, 2005).
3
Not shown when fewer than three reported or individual plant operations could be disclosed.
Sources: Dairy Products, Annual Summary, USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, selected years, unless otherwise specied.

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Table 2Average annual prices of whey products, carlot or trucklot quantities in bulk packages, 2001-2006,
and monthly prices since 2006
Year Whey powder, edible Whey protein
nonhygroscopic Lactose, edible concentrate, edible 34%
(Central) (Central & West) protein (Central & West)
-----Dollars per pound-----
2001 0.2777 0.2090 0.7777
2002 0.1971 0.2042 0.5205
2003 0.1684 0.2094 0.4968
2004 0.2395 0.2262 0.5869
2005 0.2781 0.2012 0.8430
2006 0.3425 0.3333 0.6981
Month
2006
January 0.3482 0.2427 0.8004
February 0.3529 0.2492 0.7524
March 0.3193 0.2500 0.6825
April 0.2875 0.2678 0.6144
May 0.2789 0.2816 0.5990
June 0.2811 0.2873 0.5800
July 0.2901 0.3328 0.5935
August 0.3171 0.3438 0.6209
September 0.3599 0.3628 0.6703
October 0.4058 0.4139 0.7468
November 0.4308 0.4392 0.8295
December 0.4388 0.5288 0.8869
2007
January 0.5096 0.5430 1.0012
February 0.6788 0.6062 1.1784
March 0.7768 0.6681 1.3506
April 0.7807 0.9227 1.4801
May 0.7376 0.9370 1.5500
June 0.7385 0.9273 1.6210
July 0.6743 1.0353 1.6460
Source: Dairy Market News, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service.
Recenl high prices of dry dairy producls are due lo lhe
foIIoving faclors (USOA |ccncnic |cscarcn Scrticc. O|CO-
|AO):
G Iuropean Union (IU) agricuIluraI reforms in 2003
reduced lhe incenlives for producing buller and
dry nonfal miIk, lhus shifling more miIk soIids inlo
cheese.
G WorIdvide grovlh in bolh cheese consumplion
and an array of miIk prolein concenlrales (MIC)
aIso reduces lhe amounl of miIk prolein lhal mighl
olhervise be made inlo nonfal dry miIk.
G Wealher-reIaled probIems in AuslraIia reduce lhe
amounl of dry dairy producls avaiIabIe for exporl.
G A slrong vorId economy spurs grovlh in vorId
demand for dairy producls.
G Lover exchange rales of U.S. doIIar in recenl years
improve lhe compeliliveness of U.S. dairy prod-
ucls.
IoIicy changes in lhe IU and vorIdvide grovlh in
cheese and MIC demand represenl fundamenlaI
changes, vhiIe vealher probIems, economic grovlh,
and exchange rales are lo some exlenl cycIicaI.
High prices for dry dairy products due to diverse reasons
elhanoI has become avaiIabIe (|arnncus jcr NZ
|arncrs). Il has been bIended vilh gasoIine and soId
commerciaIIy as I10.
In lhe Uniled Slales, lhere are lvo induslriaI-
scaIe pIanls lhal produce fueI elhanoI from vhey. olh
are currenlIy ovned and operaled by dairy coopera-
lives. Dairy Iarmers of America (DIA) operales lhe
Corona, CaIif., pIanl lhrough ils GoIden Cheese
Company subsidiary. The MeIrose, Minn., pIanl oper-
aled by Land O'Lakes is parl of a cheese produclion
|oinl venlure belveen Land O'Lakes and DIA.
The Corona pIanl has been in operalion since
1985, excepl for a hialus of more lhan a year from 1998
lo 2000. Il is Iocaled on lhe same premises as lhe
cheese pIanl. The elhanoI pIanl vas originaIIy Iicensed
lo use lhe Carbery process for producing elhanoI from
vhey permeale. Il has a produclion capacily of 5 miI-
Iion gaIIons of elhanoI per year. Iroprielary yeasl is
propagaled al lhe pIanl, and lhe ceIIs are
recycIed and reused severaI limes.
Iermenlalion lakes pIace in eighl balches,
and each balch requires sIighlIy more
lhan 24 hours lo compIele. In lhe disliIIa-
lion coIumn lhe elhanoI is concenlraled
lo 190 proof. Il is lhen dehydraled lo 200
proof for fueI elhanoI and is denalured
before shipping.
(DIA recenlIy announced lhe cIosure
of lhe Corona faciIily. The pIanl vouId
operale al a reduced capacily beginning
Augusl 31 and cease produclion of
American bIock cheese and vhey prod-
ucls by December 31, 2007 (O|A).)
The MeIrose pIanl began operalion in
1982 and currenlIy is producing aboul 3
miIIion gaIIons a year. Il is Iocaled a cou-
pIe hundred feel avay from lhe cheese
pIanl. AII producls and uliIilies are
broughl lo lhe elhanoI pIanl via a pipe
rack from lhe cheese pIanl. The lechnoIo-
gy vas originaIIy deveIoped by Krafl,
and yeasl propagalion is aIso propri-
elary. Il uses a fed-balch fermenlalion
syslem lhal fermenls seven balches a
day. Whey permeale is senl lo fermenla-
lion lanks and inocuIaled vilh yeasl.
Afler fermenlalion, valer and elhanoI are
separaled from lhe Iaclose disliIIers
soIids using an oId vhey evaporalor. The
valer and elhanoI mixlure is lhen senl lo
a disliIIalion coIumn and a moIecuIar
sieve for concenlralion and dehydralion.
(Nole: In a fed-balch syslem, subslrale is fed inlo lhe
fermenlalion lank al conslanl inlervaIs, vhiIe effIuenl
is removed conlinuousIy (|ccnr).)
olh pIanls concenlrale Iaclose in lhe vhey per-
meale lo more lhan doubIe ils naluraI slrenglh before
fermenlalion. No olher prelrealmenl on lhe feedslock
is required. Laclose is aImosl compIeleIy consumed in
lhe fermenlalion process. The resuIling beer conlains a
IeveI of elhanoI lhal is required for efficienl disliIIalion
and dehydralion. Mosl effIuenl from elhanoI produc-
lion is soId for animaI feed.
The elhanoI produclion of 8 miIIion gaIIons from
lhese lvo pIanls accounls for a minor porlion (Iess
lhan 1 percenl) of lolaI U.S. annuaI fueI elhanoI pro-
duclion. The lolaI surpIus Iaclose voIume as caIcuIaled
beIov shovs lhal polenliaI exisls lo produce up lo 203
miIIion gaIIons of elhanoI a year from vhey. This
sludy allempled lo ascerlain lhe feasibiIily of expand-
5
Oairu |arncrs cj Ancricas cinanc|-jrcn-uncu p|ani in Ccrcna.
Ca|ijcrnia. (Pncicgrapn ccuricsu cj Oairu |arncrs cj Ancrica)
6
Table 4Comparison of lactose volumes that may be used for ethanol production, 2003-2006
Item 2003 2004 2005 2006
-----Million lbs-----
Total lactose volume (estimated) 4,000 4,142 4,266 4,433
Lactose used in whey products (estimated):
Condensed whey, solids content 89 71 61 83
Dry whey products
Dry whey, Total 807 770 774 819
Reduced lactose & minerals 60 61 70 65
WPC, 25.0-49.9% protein 139 139 141 152
WPC, 50.0-89.9% protein 4 4 5 7
Whey protein isolates, 90.0% and higher 0 0 0 0
Lactose 608 659 707 731
Total lactose used in whey products
1
1,707 1,703 1,759 1,857
Lactose volume unaccounted for that could be used for
ethanol production 2,293 2,439 2,506 2,576
-----Million gallons-----
Potential volume of ethanol production (estimated) 182 195 199 203
Estimated actual production in 2006 8
1
Items may not add to total due to rounding.
Table 3Estimated volume of lactose in whey products, 2006
Item Product Lactose
Million lbs Percent
1
Million lbs
Lactose in sweet whey 85,809.0 4.9 4,205
Lactose in cottage cheese (acid) whey
2
4,651.9 4.9 228
Total lactose volume (estimated) 4,433
Lactose used in whey products (estimated):
Condensed whey, solids content
3
106.9 77.5 83
Dry whey products
Dry whey, Total 1,100.3 74.4 819
Reduced lactose & minerals
4
91.6 71.3 65
WPC, 25.0-49.9% protein
5
297.5 51.0 152
WPC, 50.0-89.9% protein
6
130.3 5.0 7
Whey protein isolates, 90.0% and higher 30.7 1.0 0
Lactose
7
738.7 99.0 731
Total lactose used in whey products 1,857
Lactose unaccounted for by whey products 2,576
1
Adopted from Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research, unless otherwise specied.
2
Cottage cheese whey contains 4.9% lactose (Kosikowski, et al, p. 427). Other references tend to report lower lactose content.
3
Percentages among solids in dry whey, not counting moisture. Condensed whey at 20% solids is estimated to contain 15.5% lactose.
4
Average composition of reduced-lactose whey and reduced-mineral whey.
5
Uses composition for WPC-34.
6
Uses composition for WPC-80.
7
Uses composition for food-grade lactose (Chandan).
ing vhey-elhanoI produclion by revieving lhe polen-
liaI voIume of elhanoI from vhey sources, lhe currenl
processes of vhey permeale lo elhanoI conversion, lhe
economics of producing fueI elhanoI from vhey per-
meale, and lhe organizalion of vhey-elhanoI pIanl
operalion in vhich dairy cooperalives may pIay a roIe.
Potential Volume of Ethanol From Whey
Sources
IlhanoI from vhey is produced by fermenling
lhe Iaclose conlained in vhey, vhey permeale, or per-
meale molher Iiquor. Therefore, lhe polenliaI voIume
of elhanoI produclion from vhey feedslock depends
on lhe avaiIabIe voIume of surpIus Iaclose lhal is nol
used in vhey-derived producls.
Volume of surplus lactose. The 90.5 biIIion pounds
of vhey generaled by lhe cheese induslry in 2006
conlained an eslimaled 4,433 miIIion pounds of Iaclose
(TabIe 3, cppcsiic). An eslimaled lolaI of 1,857 miIIion
pounds, or 42 percenl of avaiIabIe Iaclose, vas used in
lhese main vhey producls: condensed vhey, dry
vhey, reduced Iaclose and mineraIs vhey, vhey
prolein concenlrales, vhey prolein isoIales, and
Iaclose.
Hence, an eslimaled 2,576 miIIion pounds of Iac-
lose vas unaccounled for in 2006 by lhese vhey prod-
ucls. Some of lhis unaccounled for voIume couId have
been in secondary and lerliary vhey producls and
olher vhey or Iaclose-derived producls. Therefore, il
may be reasonabIe lo eslimale lhal lhere vas aboul 2.5
biIIion pounds of surpIus Iaclose in 2006. This is lhe
amounl of Iaclose lhal may be avaiIabIe for elhanoI
produclion.
Potential ethanol volume. TheorelicaIIy, 1 pound of
Iaclose vouId yieId 0.538 pound of elhanoI. Therefore,
lhe polenliaI voIume of elhanoI produclion from
surpIus Iaclose in 2006 may be eslimaled al aboul 203
miIIion gaIIons.
In lhe same vay, polenliaI elhanoI voIumes from
surpIus Iaclose vere eslimaled for previous years: 182
miIIion gaIIons in 2003, 195 miIIion gaIIons in 2004,
and 199 miIIion gaIIons in 2005 (TabIe 4, cppcsiic). The
2006 voIume vas a 12-percenl increase from 2003.
In 2006, lhe lvo elhanoI pIanls operaled by dairy
cooperalives logelher produced 8 miIIion gaIIons of
elhanoI. Thal sliII Iefl 195 miIIion gaIIons as unlapped
polenliaI.
ImpIicil in lhe eslimalion of polenliaI elhanoI voI-
ume is lhe premise lhal use of Iaclose in food, feed,
induslriaI, and olher appIicalions shouId lake prece-
denl, and elhanoI produclion is lhe Iasl-resorl use of
vhey and Iaclose. As viII be seen Ialer in lhe discus-
sion of lhe economics of vhey-elhanoI produclion,
every cenl of nel Iaclose vaIue (price of Iaclose nel of
processor's cosl) vouId increase feedslock cosl of
elhanoI fermenlalion by al Ieasl 12.29 cenls per gaIIon
of elhanoI. Lasl-resorl use of vhey and Iaclose in
elhanoI produclion vouId keep lhe feedslock cosl as
Iov as possibIe.
Share of dairy cooperatives. Dairy cooperalives
produced 40 percenl of lhe Nalion's naluraI cheese in
2002 (Iing). IresumabIy, lhey aIso accounled for 40
percenl of lhe vhey generaled. In lhal same year,
dairy cooperalives produced 1.1 biIIion pounds of dry
vhey producls, or 52 percenl of U.S. lolaI voIume, in
28 dry vhey pIanls lhal lhey operaled.
Using lhese same ralios for 2006, dairy coopera-
lives vouId accounl for an eslimaled 800 miIIion
pounds of Iaclose lhal vas nol used in vhey producls.
Of lhis amounl, aboul 100 miIIion pounds vas used lo
produce 8 miIIion gaIIons of elhanoI by lhe lvo pIanls
operaled by dairy cooperalives. The remaining 700
miIIion pounds of Iaclose represenls a polenliaI voI-
ume of 57 miIIion gaIIons of elhanoI.
Processes of Whey Permeate to Ethanol
Conversion
The firsl palenl for lhe use of vhey in elhanoI
produclion (U.S. Paicni nc. 2.183.141) vas granled in
1939 (Muriagn).
The besl knovn commerciaI process of producing
elhanoI from fermenling vhey is lhe Carbery process,
vhich vas deveIoped in IreIand for making polabIe
aIcohoI and vas Ialer adopled for induslriaI aIcohoI
and fueI elhanoI as veII.
In lhe Uniled Slales, lhere is lhe proprielary
process used by lhe pIanl in MeIrose, Minn. In addi-
lion, research efforls have cuIminaled in lhe deveIop-
menl of some successfuI processes (Oa|c. ci a|. U.S.
Ocparincni cj |ncrgu (OO|), Ojjicc cj |n!usiria|
Tccnnc|cgics. |ncrgu |jjicicncu an! |cncua||c |ncrgu.
Bic-Prcccss |nnctaiicn. |nc.). Many noveI processes aIso
have been seen in media reporls and research Iilera-
lure.
7
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The Basics. IlhanoI produclion processes may vary
belveen pIanls, bul lhey aII share some basic
principIes and sleps (Iigure 2).
Afler vhey prolein has been harvesled from
vhey by uIlrafiIlralion, lhe remaining permeale is con-
cenlraled by reverse osmosis lo allain higher Iaclose
conlenl for efficienl fermenlalion.
Laclose in vhey permeale is fermenled vilh
some speciaI slrains of lhe yeasl K|uutcrcnuccs narxi-
anus lhal are efficienl in fermenling Iaclose. The yeasl
is added lo lhe fermenling subslrale and pumped lo
lhe fermenlalion vesseIs.
Once lhe fermenlalion has been compIeled, yeasl
is separaled from lhe fermenled subslrale, and lhe
remaining Iiquid (beer) is moved lo lhe disliIIalion
process lo exlracl elhanoI. This elhanoI is lhen senl
lhrough lhe reclifier for dehydralion. If lhe resuIling
anhydrous elhanoI is inlended for fueI, il is denalured
by adding gasoIine lo prevenl misuse.
The effIuenllhe remaining Iiquid afler elhanoI
has been removed from lhe beer (sliIIage) and lhe bio-
mass (spenl yeasl)may be discharged lo a lrealmenl
syslem, digesled for melhane gas, soId as feed, or fur-
lher processed inlo food, feed, or olher producls. (Ior
a concise descriplion of lhe manufaclure of elhanoI
from vhey, see Hani|icn.)
eyond lhe basics, lhere are many varialions of
vhey-elhanoI produclion processes. Tvo vilh avaiI-
abIe currenl informalion are lhe Carbery process and
lhe processes offered by lhe io-Irocess Innovalion,
Inc. They are described in Appendix I and Appendix
II, respecliveIy.
The Economics of Producing Fuel
Ethanol From Whey Permeate
Estimated cost of producing fuel ethanol from
whey permeate. Wilh onIy lvo induslriaI-scaIe
vhey-lo-elhanoI pIanls in lhe Uniled Slales, no
pubIicIy avaiIabIe produclion cosl dala exisl. Cosls
quoled by severaI sources do nol have enough delaiIs
and probabIy represenl lhe besl educaled eslimales.
Hovever, a recenl comprehensive cosl eslimale of
producing fueI elhanoI from vhey is pubIicIy avaiIabIe
in a Iune 2005 Nev ZeaIand reporl (Wasic Sc|uiicns
Ii!.).
The Nev ZeaIand reporl reIaled lhal lhe eslimal-
ed al-gale cosl (operaling and capilaI service cosls)
of producing elhanoI from vhey permeale al maxi-
mum lechnicaI polenliaI, vilh a IeveI of uncerlainly of
+/- 20 percenl, vas N.Z. $0.6-0.7 per Iiler. Using a cur-
rency exchange rale of N.Z. $1 U.S. $0.7, lhe eslimal-
ed cosl lransIaled lo U.S. $1.60-1.85 per gaIIon.
The eslimaled cosl look inlo consideralion econo-
my-of-scaIe effecls, lransporlalion cosls, and compel-
ing vasle uses, and incIuded lhe foIIoving scenario
and assumplions:
G Iermenlalion al IocaI pIanls.
G DisliIIalion lo 96-percenl elhanoI al IocaI
pIanls.
G Transporlalion of 96-percenl elhanoI lo a cen-
lraIIy Iocaled dehydralion pIanl.
G CapilaI service cosl per year vas 20 percenl of
capilaI cosl, assuming a mixlure of debl and
equily financing and a nominaI inleresl rale of
10 percenl.
G To be economicaIIy feasibIe, lhe dehydralion
pIanl needed lo have a minimum daiIy capaci-
ly of 60,000 Iilers of elhanoI (aboul 15,850 gaI-
Ions a day or 5 miIIion gaIIons a year).
G Ior aIcohoI recovery (disliIIalion and dehydra-
lion), biogas from effIuenl lrealmenl vas used
as fueI. (SurpIus sleam from lhe dairy pIanl or
cogeneralion pIanl vouId aIso heIp.)
G Wel feedslock lhal had al Ieasl 15 percenl (by
veighl) fermenlabIe sugar conlenl couId pro
duce elhanoI lhal vas 9-10 percenl (by voIume)
of lhe fermenlalion beer. The resuIling elhanoI
recovery cosl couId be Iess lhan N.Z. $0.2 per
Iiler (U.S. $0.52 per gaIIon). (Ior a beer lhal
conlained 3-4 percenl elhanoI, lhe elhanoI
recovery cosl vas al Ieasl N.Z. $0.54 per Iiler
(U.S. $1.42 per gaIIon).)
The cosl of producing elhanoI from vhey perme-
ale eslimaled by lhe Nev ZeaIand reporl, al U.S. $1.60-
1.85 per gaIIon, vilh a IeveI of uncerlainly of +/- 20
9
Conversion factors used in this report
G One pound of Iaclose consumed in fer-
menlalion yieIds 0.538 pound of
elhanoI (lheorelicaI yieId).
G 1 Iiler of elhanoI equaIs 0.7924 kiIo-
gram of elhanoI.
G 1 gaIIon equaIs 3.785 Iilers
G 1 kiIogram equaIs 2.2046 pounds
G 1 gaIIon of elhanoI veighs 2.9992 kiIo-
gram or 6.6121 pounds.
percenl, is simiIar lo lhe cosls quoled by sources in lhe
Uniled Slales. Islimales from lhese U.S. sources yieId-
ed an operaling cosl of aboul $1 per gaIIon. In addi-
lion, lhere vas a capilaI service cosl of belveen $0.30
and $0.80 per gaIIon, vhich vas caIcuIaled al an
assumed rale of 20 percenl of capilaI cosl. The capilaI
service cosl vouId have been higher or Iover if lhe
assumed rale had been differenl. CapilaI cosl (cosl of
lhe pIanl conslruclion pro|ecl) had quile a vide range,
from $1.50 lo $4 per annuaI gaIIon for a commerciaI
operalion, depending on lhe scaIe of lhe pIanl.
Cost of whey permeate as feedstock. The amounl
of Iaclose needed lo produce a gaIIon of elhanoI
depends on lhe IeveI al vhich lhe Iaclose is consumed
in fermenlalion and lhe efficiency of elhanoI
conversion. Il vas reporled in lhe 1990s lhal
commerciaI pIanls fermenling naluraI-slrenglh vhey
couId uliIize grealer lhan 95 percenl of Iaclose vilh a
conversion efficiency of 80-85 percenl of lhe lheorelicaI
vaIue (Mauscn).
Wilh lechnoIogy advancemenl over lhe years and
using higher concenlralion of Iaclose for fermenlalion,
Iaclose consumplion in fermenlalion is nearIy com-
pIele al lhe lvo U.S. commerciaI pIanls. IresumabIy,
lhe conversion efficiency is aIso higher lhan in lhe
1990s. The acluaI yieId is proprielary informalion and
is lherefore nol avaiIabIe.
Ior reference purposes, il vas reporled lhal con-
version of Iaclose lo elhanoI al 85.5 percenl lo 91 per-
cenl efficiency (0.46 lo 0.49 gram elhanoI per gram Iac-
lose) couId be oblained (Oa|c).
Il vouId lake 12.29 pounds of Iaclose lo produce
a gaIIon of elhanoI, if lhe Iaclose is compIeleIy con-
sumed in fermenlalion and elhanoI conversion is 100
percenl of lhe lheorelicaI yieId (TabIe 5).
The eslimaled operaling cosl of $1 per gaIIon of
elhanoI assumes lhal vhey permeale used in elhanoI
fermenlalion is a free (no cosl) feedslock. This assump-
lion is vaIid vhen lhere is surpIus vhey lo be disposed
of by any Ieasl-cosl means. Hovever, vhen vhey
povder and Iaclose have found vider uses and have
increased in vaIue, lhe delerminalion of lhe cosl of
vhey permeale as feedslock for elhanoI fermenlalion
becomes more compIicaled.
To iIIuslrale lhe caIcuIalion, use, for exampIe, a
May 2007 Iaclose price of $0.9370 per pound (TabIe 2).
Sublracling from lhis price an eslimaled processor cosl
of $0.20 per pound for cryslaIIizing and drying Iaclose,
lhe nel vaIue of Iaclose vas $0.7370. Ior every $0.01
nel Iaclose vaIue, lhe feedslock cosl for fermenlalion
vouId be $0.1229 per gaIIon of elhanoI (TabIe 5).
Given lhal lhe nel vaIue of Iaclose vas $0.7370 per
pound, lhe feedslock cosl vouId amounl lo $9.06 per
gaIIon of elhanoI (($0.7370/$0.01)$0.1229). If Iaclose
consumplion is Iess lhan compIele in fermenlalion and
elhanoI conversion is Iess lhan 100 percenl of lhe lheo-
relicaI yieId, lhen more lhan 12.29 pounds of Iaclose is
required lo produce a gaIIon of elhanoI, and lhe feed-
slock cosl vouId be even higher.
(No pubIicIy avaiIabIe processor cosl dala for Iac-
lose produclion is avaiIabIe. The $0.20 per pound esli-
male is used, considering make-aIIovances of $0.1956
for dry vhey in lhe IederaI MiIk Markel Orders (U.S.
Ocparincni cj Agricu|iurc. Agricu|iura| Markciing
Scrticc) and $0.267 for skim vhey povder in
CaIifornia's SlabiIizalion and Markeling IIans for
Markel MiIk (Ca|ijcrnia Ocparincni cj |cc! an!
Agricu|iurc)).
Anolher iIIuslralion couId use lhe Iaclose price
prior lo lhe run-up of vhey producls prices in 2006.
The 2005 annuaI average price of Iaclose vas $0.2012
per pound (TabIe 2). The nel vaIue of Iaclose afler
aIIoving for $0.20 processor cosl vouId be $0.0012 per
pound. The opporlunily cosl of Iaclose as feedslock for
fermenlalion vouId have been $0.015 per gaIIon of
elhanoI (($0.0012/.$0.01)$0.1229), or aImosl zero.
The caIcuIalion of lhe opporlunily cosl of Iaclose
for elhanoI fermenlalion is vaIid onIy if lhere are com-
peling uses of lhe same Iaclose, such as manufacluring
dry vhey, Iaclose, or olher vhey producls. If lhere is
no such compelilion, lhen lhe vhey permeale some-
10
Table 5Lactose input and estimated feedstock cost per gallon of ethanol at selected yield level
Feedstock cost per gallon ethanol
Ethanol yield Lactose input (For every $0.01 net lactose
(Percent of theoretical yield) (Pounds per gallon ethanol) value per pound)
100% 12.29 $0.1229
95% 12.94 $0.1294
90% 13.66 $0.1366
85% 14.46 $0.1446
hov has lo be disposed of and lhe opporlunily cosl of
Iaclose for elhanoI fermenlalion is IikeIy lo be zero or
even negalive.
As shovn in TabIe 3, an eslimaled 1,857 miIIion
pounds of Iaclose vere used in various vhey producls
in 2006, and an eslimaled 2,576 miIIion pounds (58
percenl of lolaI avaiIabIe Iaclose) vere unaccounled
for. Mosl of lhe unaccounled-for voIume vas IikeIy lo
have been disposed of as vasle. AccordingIy, lhe Iac-
lose in lhis surpIus vhey vouId nol carry an opporlu-
nily cosl had il been used as feedslock for elhanoI fer-
menlalion.
NalionaIIy, lhe surpIus vhey silualion viII per-
sisl for lhe foreseeabIe fulure. AIlhough prices of vhey
11
Table 6Whey products production by product and month, United States, 2006-2007
By Month Cumulative
____________________________________ __________________________________
Product and month 2006 2007 Change 2006 2007 Change
-- 1,000 pounds -- Percent -- 1,000 pounds -- Percent
Dry whey, total
1
Jan 88,391 96,145 8.8 88,391 96,145 8.8
Feb 89,695 90,232 0.6 178,086 186,377 4.7
Mar 100,953 98,713 -2.2 279,039 285,090 2.2
Apr 95,662 96,818 1.2 374,701 381,908 1.9
May 97,295 99,198 2.0 471,996 481,106 1.9
Jun 89,701 94,628 5.5 561,697 575,734 2.5
Jul 95,226 656,923
Aug 91,547 748,470
Sep 86,271 834,741
Oct 87,434 922,175
Nov 85,865 1,008,040
Dec 92,306 1,100,346
Lactose, human & animal
Jan 64,539 65,064 0.8 64,539 65,064 0.8
Feb 56,311 59,671 6.0 120,850 124,735 3.2
Mar 62,165 64,975 4.5 183,015 189,710 3.7
Apr 63,402 63,083 -0.5 246,417 252,793 2.6
May 66,057 67,145 1.6 312,474 319,938 2.4
Jun 60,027 62,013 3.3 372,501 381,951 2.5
Jul 60,333 432,834
Aug 64,225 497,059
Sep 58,964 556,023
Oct 62,296 618,319
Nov 60,505 678,824
Dec 59,832 738,656
Whey protein concentrate, total
Jan 37,162 33,055 -11.1 37,162 33,055 -11.1
Feb 34,436 29,432 -14.5 71,598 62,487 -12.7
Mar 37,766 35,038 -7.2 109,364 97,525 -10.8
Apr 37,525 33,188 -11.6 146,889 130,713 -11.0
May 37,373 33,436 -10.5 184,262 164,149 -10.9
Jun 36,190 33,672 -7.0 220,452 197,821 -10.3
Jul 35,704 256,156
Aug 35,024 291,180
Sep 34,581 325,761
Oct 34,581 360,342
Nov 33,116 393,458
Dec 34,266 427,724
1
Excludes all modied dry whey products.
Source: Dairy Products, September 2007, USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.
producls have more lhan doubIed since Iune 2006
(TabIe 2), vhey producls produclion has remained
ralher conslanl (TabIe 6, prcticus pagc). Ior lhe firsl 6
monlhs of 2007, cumuIalive produclion of dry vhey
and Iaclose, respecliveIy, vas 2.5 percenl higher lhan
lhe amounl of lhe same period Iasl year, bul vhey pro-
lein concenlrale vas 10.3 percenl Iover. The combined
voIume of lhe 3 producls for lhe 6 monlhs in 2007, al
1,156 miIIion pounds, vas onIy 0.9 miIIion pounds
more lhan lhe same period in 2006.
In lhe shorl run, vhey producls manufaclure is
Iimiled by lhe avaiIabIe pIanl capacily and lhe produc-
lion voIume can increase onIy marginaIIy. This is
because currenl vhey producls pIanls vere buiIl lo
operale al or near capacily. Nev inveslmenl lo expand
lhe capacily viII nol happen unIess lhe induslry is
convinced lhal lhe recenl price hikes are a Iong-lerm
lrend.
AIlhough nalionaIIy vhey is sliII in a surpIus sil-
ualion, ils avaiIabiIily is oflen IocaIized (regionaIized).
The cosl of using il as feedslock for elhanoI fermenla-
lion is lherefore sile specific.
Economic feasibility of producing fuel ethanol
from whey permeate. Whelher il is economicaIIy
feasibIe lo produce elhanoI from vhey permeale is
delermined by lhe baIance of lhe cosls and lhe
expecled revenues. Key componenls on lhe cosl side
are:
G Ieedslock cosl: Cosl of vhey permeale (Iaclose)
as inpul for elhanoI fermenlalion.
G Operaling cosl: Labor, energy, suppIies, repair
and mainlenance, deprecialion, insurance,
Iicensing fees, elc.
G CapilaI service cosl: AnnuaI cosl is caIcuIaled
al a rale of capilaI cosl prescribed by lhe deci-
sionmaker, based on lhe opporlunily cosl
(inleresl cosl) of capilaI and risk premium for
underlaking lhe inveslmenl. Il may be al 10
percenl of capilaI cosl, 15 percenl, 20 percenl,
or some olher rale.
On lhe revenue side, lhere are lhree main considera-
lions:
G IlhanoI price: Aboul 90 lo 95 percenl of elhanoI
is soId under Iong-lerm conlracls (6 lo 12
monlhs). Many of lhese conlracls are fixed-
price. The remaining amounl is soId on lhe
spol markel, and lhe spol-markel prices fIuclu-
ale according lo markel condilions (|cncua||c
|uc|s Asscciaiicn). Tnc Annua| |ncrgu Oui|cck
2007 uiin Prcjcciicns ic 2030 forecasls elhanoI
vhoIesaIe price (in 2005 doIIars) lo be $2.520
per gaIIon in 2007, $2.066 in 2008, $2.099 in
2009, $1.814 in 2010, and $1.742 in 2011.
Thereafler, lhe Iong-lerm lrend is for lhe price
lo be in lhe $1.650 lo $1.720 range (OO| |ncrgu
|njcrnaiicn A!ninisiraiicn).
G yproducls vaIue: IffIuenl dried as feed,
digesled for melhane gas, or used for olher
purposes, vilh posilive or negalive relurns.
G Incenlives: CurrenlIy (lhrough December 31,
2010) lhere is a smaII elhanoI producer IederaI
lax credil of $0.10 per gaIIon, up lo 15 miIIion
gaIIons or $1.5 miIIion per year, for a produc-
lion faciIily vilh up lo 60 miIIion gaIIons of
annuaI produclion capacily (26 U.S.C. 40. The
cilalion is inlended for informalion onIy. IIease
consuIl lax professionaIs for specific lax lreal-
menls.) Various granls, Ioans, and olher incen-
lives are aIso offered by various IederaI and
Slale programs.
Depending on lhe magnilude of capilaI service
cosl and assuming vhey permeale is a free feedslock
lhal is converled lo elhanoI al an operaling cosl of $1
per gaIIon, lhe elhanoI price musl be higher lhan lhe
lolaI cosl of producing il for lhe nev inveslmenl in lhe
elhanoI pIanl lo be economicaIIy feasibIe. Various pro-
duclion incenlives may Iover lhe price IeveI required
for economic feasibiIily.
Nel relurns from lhe elhanoI enlerprise shouId be
measured againsl lhe profilabiIily of making olher
vhey or vhey-derived producls or of olher uses of
vhey, lo delermine vhelher elhanoI produclion is a
more vorlhvhiIe underlaking. A furlher consideralion
shouId be vhich of lhe vhey enlerprises fils besl vilh
a cooperalive's overaII business slralegy.
Economy of scale. ecause vhey conlains aboul
93.5 percenl valer and onIy 4.9 percenl Iaclose, even a
vhey-elhanoI pIanl of modesl size requires a very
Iarge cheese operalion lo provide vhey for feedslock.
This facl deslines lhe scaIe of vhey-elhanoI pIanls lo
be much smaIIer in size lhan presenl-day corn-elhanoI
pIanls and higher in capilaI cosl per annuaI gaIIon.
A Iarger scaIe vhey-elhanoI pIanl vouId benefil
from scaIe economy, vhere lhe capilaI cosl increases
proporlionaleIy Iess lhan lhe increase in pIanl size,
resuIling in Iover capilaI cosl per annuaI gaIIon. In a
|oinl pro|ecl sludying lhe cosl of producing elhanoI
12
from corn and IignoceIIuIosic feedslocks, researchers
al USDA and DOI used lhe foIIoving expression for
scaIing capilaI cosl for equipmenl:
Nev cosl OriginaI cosl x (nev size/originaI
size)
exponenl
The |oinl reporl ciled USDA's vaIue of lhe scaIing
exponenl of 0.6 and DOI's average vaIue of 0.63: bolh
vere vilhin lhe range of 0.6 lo 0.7 commonIy ciled in
cosl eslimalion Iileralure (McA|ccn.. ci a|).
Anolher eslimale based on 19 corn-elhanoI pIanls
buiIl belveen 1996 and 2004 and ranging in size from
15 miIIion lo 50 miIIion gaIIons per year yieIded a
pIanl scaIing exponenl vaIue of 0.77 ((ScT)
2
Ccnsu|ianis . |nc.. ci a|).
RegardIess of lhe vaIue of lhe scaIing exponenl,
as Iong as il is Iess lhan one, lhere vouId be scaIe econ-
omy for pIanls lhal Iie vilhin lhe reIevanl size range.
AIlhough lhis reference is lo pIanls making elhanoI
from corn slarch and IignoceIIuIosic feedslocks, il is
reasonabIe lo expecl lhal a simiIar economy of scaIe
vouId appIy lo vhey-elhanoI pIanls.
A Iarger sized vhey-elhanoI pIanl vouId Iover
lhe per-gaIIon capilaI cosl, bul aIso vouId require a
Iarger vhey voIume, eilher from a Iarger-sized cheese
pIanl or from a group of cheese pIanls.
Whey-Ethanol Plant Scenarios and Roles
of Dairy Cooperatives
The Nev ZeaIand reporl suggesled an elhanoI
pIanl vilh a minimum annuaI capacily of 5 miIIion
gaIIons. Assuming Iaclose is compIeleIy consumed in
fermenlalion and elhanoI is produced al lhe IeveI of
lhe lheorelicaI yieId, lhe pIanl vouId require 195,000
pounds of Iaclose a day as inpul.
A cheese-whey/ethanol complex. A cheese pIanl
vilh a daiIy capacily of processing 4.5 miIIion pounds
of miIkaboul lhe size of some of lhe Iargesl cheese
pIanls in lhe Uniled SlalesvouId generale four
miIIion pounds of vhey lo suppIy lhe required 195,000
pounds of Iaclose lo lhe elhanoI pIanl. To pump over
vhey permeale and save on lransporlalion cosls, lhe
elhanoI pIanl shouId be Iocaled cIose lo lhe cheese
pIanl.
The selups of lhe lvo U.S. vhey-elhanoI pIanls,
al Corona and MeIrose, fil lhis singIe cheese-
vhey/elhanoI pIanl compIex scenario.
Multi-plant coordination. Ior cheese pIanls of more
modesl sizes (lypicaIIy Iocaled in lhe more lradilionaI
dairy regions), assembIing vhey permeale for elhanoI
produclion vouId require coordinalion among pIanls.
Ior exampIe, lhree pIanls, each vilh a daiIy capacily of
processing 1.5-2 miIIion pounds of miIk inlo cheese,
vouId yieId lhe necessary amounl of vhey lo suppIy
Iaclose lo lhe elhanoI pIanl. Al each cheese pIanl,
vhey vouId be uIlrafiIlered (deproleinaled) and lhe
permeale vouId be concenlraled by reverse osmosis lo
aboul 20 percenl soIids (15 percenl Iaclose) and lhen
shipped lo lhe elhanoI pIanl for fermenlalion. To
reduce vhey permeale shipping cosls, lhe elhanoI
pIanl shouId be Iocaled ad|acenl lo lhe Iargesl cheese
pIanl among lhe lhree or vhere il is mosl IogicaI and
appropriale.
This coordinalion scheme, in facl, has been in
praclice by dairy cooperalives for vhey handIing,
vhere severaI cheese pIanls condense lheir vhey and
lhen ship lhe condensed vhey (deproleinaled or olher-
vise) lo a vhey povder pIanl for drying. The same
scheme couId be used lo coordinale vhey handIing
among cheese pIanls lo suppIy a vhey-elhanoI pIanl.
Iurlhermore, such a coordinalion scheme couId be
expanded lo aIIov fulure vhey-elhanoI pIanls lo be of
grealer capacily in order lo lake advanlage of lhe econ-
omy of scaIe.
Roles of dairy cooperatives. If a nev vhey-elhanoI
pIanl is proved lo be economicaIIy feasibIe and vere lo
be buiIl, lhe enlerprise mighl be organized according
lo lhese forms:
G An elhanoI pIanl ad|acenl lo a dairy coopera-
live's Iarge cheese pIanl, simiIar lo lhe selups of
lhe lvo exisling pIanls.
G An elhanoI pIanl lhal fermenls vhey permeale
assembIed from severaI cheese pIanls of a dairy
cooperalive.
G An elhanoI pIanl lhal fermenls vhey permeale
assembIed from severaI cheese pIanls. The
coordinalion of vhey handIing may be among
a cooperalive's and olher cooperalives' cheese
pIanls, or among a cooperalive's and olher
cooperalive and non-cooperalive enlilies'
cheese pIanls. The coordinalion may be carried
oul by conlracl or organized as a |oinl venlure.
SmaII cheese pIanls Iooking for opporlunilies
lo add vaIue lo vhey may be incIined lo parlic-
ipale in such underlaking.
13
14
Some Specic Issues in Whey-Ethanol
Production
ecause of lhe composilion of vhey, lhere are
some issues lhal are specific lo vhey-elhanoI produc-
lion (Oa|c):
G Whey and vhey permeale concenlrale are very
susceplibIe lo conlaminalion and spoiIage.
G Whey permeale concenlrale is coslIy lo lrans-
porl (moslIy valer).
G The fermenlalion is susceplibIe lo Iaclic conla-
minalion. The fermenlalion syslems musl be
very carefuIIy designed and operaled, basicaIIy
lo food-grade cIeanIiness or, for some syslems,
even lo aseplic slandards.
G ecause lhe caIcium saIls in lhe vhey are
reverse soIubIebecoming insoIubIe al high-
er lemperaluresscaIing of lhe disliIIalion coI-
umn couId be a probIem or a cause for concern.
G The effIuenl is high in chIoride. This Iimils lhe
rale of appIicalion on fieIds if Iand-spreading is
used. Iusl Iand-spreading of lhe effIuenl can be
a ma|or operaling cosl. There are lvo ideas for
higher vaIue producls from lhe spenl effIuenl:
(1) a base for a sporls drink if vhey permeale
concenlrale is lhe subslrale, and (2) a mineraI
saIl bIock for animaIs if permeale molher
Iiquor is lhe subslrale.
Some Historical Lessons
In lhe Uniled Slales, fueI elhanoI produclion
slarled in lhe Iale 1970s. During lhe 1980s, aboul 165
commerciaI pIanls (pIanls vilh more lhan 500,000 gaI-
Ions annuaI capacily) vere conslrucled, vilh grain as
lhe primary feedslock. y lhe end of 1990, fever lhan
40 pIanls remained in operalion (Muriagn. ci a|),
aIlhough annuaI elhanoI produclion grev lo 900 miI-
Iion gaIIons (|cncua||c |uc| Asscciaiicn).
The reasons for lhe high allrilion rale of pIanls
during lhal decade vere revieved in a 1991 paper
(Muriagn. ci a|). Ixperiences of lhal period may be reIe-
vanl lo fulure commerciaI vhey-elhanoI deveIopmenl
and are summarized in lhis seclion. They may provide
some usefuI Iessons lhal iIIuslrale lhe kind of mislakes
lo avoid.
The mosl significanl causes of pro|ecl faiIures
during lhe 1980s vere improper lechnoIogy seIeclion
and improper engineering design. Ivery aspecl of lhe
pIanl operalions vas susceplibIe lo such faiIures. Irom
feedslock prelrealmenl lo yeasl propagalion, fermen-
lalion, disliIIalion, DDGS (disliIIers dried grains vilh
soIubIes) drying and slorage, and piping, lhe cuIpabIe
faclors vere inadequale design, equipmenl, and/or
process. Wilhoul being supporled by adequale
research, noveI sleps laken lo save cosl, increase yieId,
or olhervise cul corners, lended lo invile disaslrous
resuIls.
Olher faclors lhal conlribuled lo faiIures vere
shifling pubIic poIicy: frauduIenl inveslmenl schemes:
pIanls lhal vere conslrucled vilh high cosl, vilhoul
feasibiIily sludies, or vilhoul adequale financing: and
Iack of lechnicaI and manageriaI experlise in lhe bio-
chemicaI process.
Conclusions
There is a polenliaI for suppIemenling lhe
Nalion's fueI elhanoI suppIy by an eslimaled 203 miI-
Iion gaIIons a year (2006 dala) if aII Iaclose in surpIus
vhey and vhey permealevhey lhal is nol used in
vaIue-added vhey-derived produclsis fermenled for
lhe purpose. Dairy cooperalives couId have a share of
65 miIIion gaIIons of lhis polenliaI. Hovever, lhere are
onIy lvo commerciaI vhey-elhanoI pIanls vilh an
annuaI produclion of 8 miIIion gaIIons. olh pIanls are
currenlIy ovned and operaled by dairy cooperalives.
The facl lhal lhe lvo pIanls have been in opera-
lion for more lhan 20 years is an indicalion lhal (1) fueI
elhanoI produclion from vhey is lechnicaIIy feasibIe,
(2) vhey-lo-fueI elhanoI produclion lechnoIogies and
processes are malure and capabIe of being adopled for
commerciaI operalions, and (3) producing fueI elhanoI
from vhey is economicaIIy feasibIe.
ecause lhere are no pubIicIy avaiIabIe, acluaI
produclion-cosl dala, no allempl vas made lo eslimale
lhe profilabiIily of lhe vhey-lo-elhanoI enlerprise. The
cosl of producing elhanoI from vhey permeale esli-
maled by lhe 2005 Nev ZeaIand reporl vas U.S. $1.60-
1.85 per gaIIon (al a currency exchange rale of N.Z. $1
U.S. $0.7), vilh a IeveI of uncerlainly of +/- 20 per-
cenl. Islimales ascerlained from U.S. sources in lhe
course of lhis sludy yieIded a per-gaIIon operaling cosl
of aboul $1 and a capilaI service cosl lhal may be caI-
cuIaled on a capilaI cosl of $1.50 lo $4 per annuaI gaI-
Ion. These cosl eslimales have a vide range of uncer-
lainlies and are aIso sensilive lo lhe scaIe of lhe pIanl.
Then lhere is aIso lhe uncerlainly regarding lhe
cosl of using vhey permeale as feedslock. Irior lo lhe
price run-up in 2006, lhe dairy induslry's main lask
concerning vhey had been lo seek more melhods for
vhey lo be usefuI and vaIuabIe. Under lhose circum-
slances, vhey and vhey permeale used in fermenla-
lion may be regarded as a feedslock of no or even neg-
alive cosl. This free feedslock premise remains lrue if
lhere are no readiIy accessibIe, profilabIe aIlernalives
for lhe vhey.
In assessing lhe feasibiIily of a nev vhey-elhanoI
pIanl, lhe cosl of vhey permeale as feedslock needs lo
be carefuIIy evaIualed in lhis era of vhey producls'
price uncerlainlies. Ivery 1 cenl of nel Iaclose vaIue
from aIlernalive uses vouId increase lhe fermenlalion
feedslock cosl by al Ieasl 12.29 cenls per gaIIon of
elhanoI. Olher imporlanl faclors lo consider besides
feedslock cosl are (1) an appropriale pIanl scaIe lhal
vouId minimize capilaI cosl and lhe cosl of assem-
bIing feedslock, (2) an appropriale lechnoIogy and
process specificaIIy for vhey-elhanoI produclion lhal
vouId minimize operaling cosl, (3) besl aIlernalives
for using and/or disposing of lhe effIuenl, (4) elhanoI
price, and (5) various governmenl produclion incen-
lives.
The O|CO-|AO Agricu|iura| Oui|cck 2007-2016
provides lhe onIy avaiIabIe Iong-lerm dry vhey price
pro|eclion. Il forecasls lhe vhoIesaIe price of edibIe
dry vhey (I.O.., Wisconsin pIanl) lo peak in 2011,
bul lhe decIine aflervards viII sliII see lhe 2016 price
lo be 20 percenl higher lhan in 2006 (O|CO-|AO). On
lhe olher hand, lhe Annua| |ncrgu Oui|cck 2007 uiin
Prcjcciicns ic 2030 forecasls lhe elhanoI vhoIesaIe price
lo peak in 2007 ($2.520 per gaIIon) and fIucluale in lhe
$1.650 lo $1.720 range afler 2011 (OO| |ncrgu
|njcrnaiicn A!ninisiraiicn). Hovever, care shouId be
used if lhe lvo pro|ecled price series are lo be
empIoyed for evaIualing lhe feasibiIily of a nev vhey-
elhanoI pIanl versus a nev dry vhey pIanl, because
lhe forecasl of lhe dry vhey price is in nominaI doIIar
and lhe elhanoI price is in conslanl (2005) doIIar.
Iurlher compIicaling lhe piclure is lhal lhe pro|eclion
of lhe dry vhey price preceded, and lherefore did nol
incorporale, lhe unexpecled price surges in 2007.
References
AIexander, Craig and NeIson, Mark. An |ccncnic
Ana|usis cj inc US Markci jcr Iacicsc, CorneII Irogram
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page/0,,c334829 g500040,00.hlmI.
Audic, I-L, . Chaufer, and G. Daufin. Non-food
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|cc! Scicncc an! Nuiriiicn, VoIume 38, Number 7,
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io-Irocess Innovalion, Inc. Whey Laclose IlhanoI-
II TechnoIogies for Whey IlhanoI, hllp://bio-
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15
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Manujaciurc cj |inanc| jrcn Wncu," Nev ZeaIand
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Irish Ixaminer.com. MaxoI Iaunches biofueI mix for
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hllp://vvv.examiner.ie/slory/`|pIYKIKIKISN&cal
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MackIe, Tim. ioIlhanoI as a Transporl IueI,
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(S&T)
2
ConsuIlanls, Inc., and Meyers Norris Ienny
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issues since Oclober 19, 2006.
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Adminislralion. Annua| |ncrgu Oui|cck 2007 uiin
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Cncnica| Prccurscrs. Icu-|ncrgu Ccniinucus Susicn
Cctcris Wasic Bicnass ic |inanc|, Order - 1-AG-594,
Seplember 2001.
16
U.S. Ialenl and Trademark Office. Uniled Slales
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Melhod of Iermenling Whey lo Iroduce AIcohoI,
December 12, 1939.
U.S. Ialenl and Trademark Office. Uniled Slales
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Reaclor-Separalor vilh SimuIlaneous Iroducl
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May 12, 1987.
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Deparlmenl of Iood Science, Universily of Wisconsin-
Madison, UW DAIRY ALIRT! Iune 1, 1993.
Wisconsin Cenler for Dairy Research. Apprcxinaic
Oisiri|uiicn cj Mi|k Ccnpcncnis |ciuccn Cnccsc an!
Wncu. an! in Wncu Prc!ucis.
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Laclose, jcurna| cj Oairu Scicncc 78: 2541-2562, 1995,
labIe 8.
Appendix I. The Carbery Process
The Carbery process in ils presenl-day operalion
is provided by lhe Carbery Group (formerIy Carbery
MiIk Iroducls Lld.), aIIineen, Counly Cork, IreIand
(Ocsncn!, used vilh permission).
In lhe aIcohoI pIan lhe rav maleriaI, vhey
permeale, is converled inlo finished producl,
polabIe aIcohoI. The firsl slep in lhis process is
lhe conversion of lhe carbohydrale in lhe perme-
ale (Iaclose) inlo elhyI aIcohoI. This is achieved
by fermenlalion vilh a specific yeasl slrain.
The fermenlalion is carried oul in eIeven cyIin
dro-conicaI fermenler vesseIs. Compressed air is
used lo agilale lhe conlenls of lhe vesseI and il
aIso provides aeralion of lhe conlenls lo encour-
age conlinued yeasl grovlh.
Whey permeale and yeasl are added logelher
inlo a fermenler and lhe fermenlalion is aIIoved
lo proceed under lhe oplimum condilions of lem-
peralure, pressure and agilalion, unliI aII of lhe
Iaclose in lhe permeale has been exhausled. The
Iaclose is converled mainIy inlo elhyI aIcohoI, bul
olher compounds knovn as congeners are aIso
produced by lhe fermenlalion. Depending on lhe
iniliaI Iaclose concenlralion and yeasl aclivily,
lhe fermenlalion viII lake belveen 12 and 20
hours lo compIele.
Afler fermenlalion, lhe conlenls of lhe fer-
menler are referred lo as 'vash' or 'beer.' The
aIcohoI conlenl of lhe vash viII depend upon lhe
iniliaI Iaclose concenlralion in lhe permeale and
lhe fermenlalion efficiency. The vash is pumped
lo lhe disliIIalion pIanl.
The nexl operalionaI slep performed on lhe
vash is disliIIalion. The purpose of lhe disliIIa-
lion slep is lo concenlrale lhe aIcohoI porlion of
lhe vash, and lo remove lhe congeners formed
during fermenlalion. A conlinuous-disliIIalion
process empIoying coIumn sliIIs is used. Il con-
sisls of lhree seclions:
i) eersliII.
ii) Ixlraclive-disliIIalion unil.
iii) Reclifier.
In lhe beersliII, lhe vash is concenlraled lo 96
percenl aIcohoI. This is lhen fed lo lhe exlraclive-
disliIIalion coIumn vhere valer is added, chang-
ing lhe boiIing poinl of lhe mixlure, so lhal high-
boiIing-poinl 'higher aIcohoIs' may be removed.
IinaIIy, in lhe reclifier, lhe aIcohoI slrenglh
vhich has been reduced in lhe exlraclive-disliIIa-
lion coIumn is increased again lo 96 percenl.
Olher congeners such as 'heads', 'eslers' and
'fuseI oiI' are aIso removed in lhis finaI reclifier.
Mosl disliIIalion unils consisl of a cyIindricaI,
verlicaI coIumn. Ierforaled pIales (sieve lrays)
are fixed horizonlaIIy al inlervaIs of severaI
inches lhroughoul lhe heighl of lhe coIumn.
Liquid is usuaIIy inlroduced lo a pIale approxi-
maleIy haIf-vay up lhe coIumn. Sleam is inlro-
duced al lhe base. The sleam and vaporized Iiq-
17
uid lend lo rise up lhe coIumn lhrough lhe pIale
perforalions, vhiIe lhe Iiquid lends lo faII lo lhe
bollom via a series of dovn pipes.
AIcohoI vilh a boiIing poinl of 78C is more
voIaliIe lhan lhe valer porlion. The aIcohoI viII
lend lo rise up lhe coIumn in lhe vapor vhereas
lhe valer viII lend lo go dovn lhe coIumn vilh
lhe Iiquid. The aIcohoI is concenlraled lo 96 per-
cenl in a concenlraling coIumn. The producl is
removed lo slorage/furlher reclificalion, and
spenl vash, vhich conlains very IillIe aIcohoI, is
removed from lhe bollom of lhe coIumn.
Vapors rising above lhe lop pIale of lhe coI
umn are condensed in one or more condensers,
and a refIux Iine relurns lhe condensale lo lhe
uppermosl pIales, above lhe poinl vhere lhe
producl is dravn off, lhus mainlaining a Iiquid
IeveI on lhe drav lray.
Ardenl readers viII find lhe process has evoIved
over lhe years vhen compared vilh lhe originaI selup
(San!|acn). Il aIso shouId be noled lhal polabIe aIcohoI
and fueI elhanoI have differenl quaIily requiremenls,
and lhe processes of producing lhem may differ some-
vhal, aIlhough lhe basic principIes are lhe same.
In addilion, for polabIe aIcohoI, elhanoI concen-
lralions posl-fermenlalion lypicaIIy range from 2.5
percenl lo 3.5 percenl (Ocsncn!). IueI elhanoI produc-
lion requires elhanoI conlenl in lhe beer lo be al Ieasl
doubIe lhal IeveI for energy-efficienl disliIIalion and
dehydralion.
Appendix II. The Processes of Bio-
Process Innovation, Inc.
The processes offered by io-Irocess Innovalion,
Inc. (II), are lhe cuIminalion of many years of
research (e.g., Oa|c. ci a|). Depending on lhe feedslock
and efficiency desired by a pIanl, lhe company offers
four kinds of fermenlalion syslems (Bic-Prcccss
|nnctaiicn. |nc.):
1. Immnbi!izcd Cc!! Rcactnr/5cparatnr (ICR5)
This palenled immobiIized ceII reaclor/separalor
separales elhanoI as il is being produced and
aIIovs lhe quick and conlinuous conversion of
cIear vhey permeale concenlrale lo elhanoI. The
experimenl for lhe palenl appIicalion (U.S. Paicni
nc. 4.665.027) shovs lhal il has an iniliaI inIel Iac-
lose concenlralion of aboul doubIe lhe naluraI
Iaclose conlenl in vhey permeale and a sugar uli-
Iizalion rale of 98 percenl. The oulIel (effIuenl)
OD is aboul 2.5 percenl of ils originaI vaIue.
2. Cnntinunus 5tirrcd Rcactnr/5cparatnr
This lechnoIogy aIIovs high rales of fermenlalion
coupIed vilh elhanoI recovery from lhe fermen-
lalion vesseI. Yeasl can be immobiIized or recy-
cIed lo keep fermenlalion rales high.
3. Cnntinunus Cascadc Rcactnr
Three or four slage conlinuous cascade fermenla-
lion syslem coupIed vilh lhe company's propri-
elary saIl and elhanoI loIeranl slrains of
K|uutcrcnuccs narxianus (a Iaclose fermenling
yeasl famiIy) aIIovs 7 lo 10 percenl elhanoI lo be
made from permeale molher Iiquor, vhey perme-
ale concenlrale, or Iaclose. (U.S. Ocparincni cj
|ncrgu. Ojjicc cj |n!usiria| Tccnnc|cgics. |ncrgu
|jjicicncu an! |cncua||c |ncrgu highIighls lhe
Conlinuous Cascade Reaclor as a Iov-energy
conlinuous syslem for converling vasle biomass
lo elhanoI.
4. Batch Fcrmcntatinn nI Pcrmcatc Mnthcr Liqunr
AcluaI performance for lhe fermenlalion syslems
lvo lhrough four mighl be differenl from ImmobiIized
CeII Reaclor/Separalor (syslem 1). ul each of lhe four
syslems can allain near compIele conversion of Iaclose
lo elhanoI, al 0.46 lo 0.49 gram elhanoI per gram Iac-
lose. OulIel elhanoI viII be high if lhe process does nol
incIude simuIlaneous separalion: Iov, if lhe lechnoIo-
gy is incorporaled (Oa|c).
These associaled lechnoIogies vork vilh lhe
above syslems: (1) saIl and elhanoI loIeranl slrains of
K|uutcrcnuccs narxianus, (2) yeasl produclion from
vhey permeale, and (3) Iov energy/non-fouIing disliI-
Ialion of beers produced from vhey permeale or per-
meale molher Iiquor.
18
19
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and educational assistance to cooperatives to strengthen the
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prices for products they sell; (2) advises rural residents on
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enhance rural living; (3) helps cooperatives improve services
and operating efficiency; (4) informs members, directors,
employees, and the public on how cooperatives work and
benefit their members and their communities; and (5)
encourages international cooperative programs. Rural
Development also publishes research and educational
materials and issues Rural Cooperatives magazine.
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discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of
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applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status,
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should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600
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