Value Added Ethanol Co-Products
One-third of every bushel of grain that enters the ethanol process is enhanced and returned to the animal feed market, most often in the form of distiller’s grains, distiller’s corn oil, corn gluten feed, and corn gluten meal. These ethanol co-products are fed to dairy cows, beef cattle, poultry, swine and fish in nations around the world. In the past decade, the annual volume of animal feed produced by the U.S. ethanol industry has grown by a factor of eight.
Distiller’s grains are the heavy solids that remain after grain is fermented and distilled in the ethanol production process. Distiller’s grains are a protein and energy rich source of nutrition for dairy and beef cattle, as well as other types of livestock like poultry and swine. The two types of distiller’s grains are: Wet Distillers Grains (WDGs) and Dried Distillers Grains (DDGs). Dry distiller’s grains are simply wet distiller’s grains that have been run through a large industrial dryer to remove moisture – primarily to increase shelf-life and improve handling for large container transportation to domestic and international locations.
The Aemetis Keyes ethanol facility produces over 430,000 tons of WDGs per year, all of which are sold to local dairies within 60 miles of the plant, making Aemetis one of the largest animal feed producers in Northern California.
Distiller’s Corn Oil
Distiller’s corn oil is a co-product of the ethanol production process. According to Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) (analysis, an estimated two-thirds of the nation’s ethanol Biorefineries are capturing corn oil during the ethanol production process and selling that oil into the feed market, as well as converting the oil into biodiesel and other renewable chemicals. All told, U.S. ethanol producers supplied an estimated 2 billion pounds of distiller’s corn oil to the market. Aemetis sells its Distiller’s Corn Oil to local poultry and cattle feedlots.