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  • Writer's pictureRon Kotrba

New technology may help meet rising demand for biobased diesel feedstock

As the renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) industries build out amid mounting concerns over the supply and prices of fats, oil and grease, innovation persists in the feedstock sector to help meet growing demand. Fluid Quip Technologies unveiled April 29 a new technology—DCO+™—to achieve what it says is record-high recovery of distillers corn oil (DCO) from ethanol plants.

“A recent full-scale demonstration of DCO+™ at Green Plains Wood River achieved a breakthrough 1.4 pounds per bushel low-carbon renewable corn oil yield when integrated in a full MSC™ (Maximized Stillage Coproducts) system,” the company stated. “As a standalone system, DCO+ can achieve up to a 40 percent increase in overall production of corn oil.” Fluid Quip Technologies added that it will offer this solution to other ethanol facilities throughout the industry.

The company said the new technology works by liberating additional DCO from the fiber fraction in the distillers grains. “The DCO+™ technology was born from Fluid Quip Technologies’ patented MSC™ protein-separation system and is integral to the high corn-oil yields those systems produce,” it said.

Michael Franko, managing director of Fluid Quip Technologies, added, “This new renewable corn oil capture technology comes from years of experience operating our MSC systems and is an immediate game changer for Green Plains (the majority owner of Fluid Quip Technologies) and for the industry. With DCO+, independent plants looking for low-cost, revenue-enhancing projects can take advantage of up to 40 percent more corn oil, a valuable low-carbon feedstock for the rapidly expanding renewable diesel industry.”

Before significant growth in the biodiesel sector years ago, DCO simply remained in the distillers grains sold by ethanol plants as animal feed. Demand for renewable feedstocks led to innovation in the extraction of this valuable coproduct, approaches to which continue to get more efficient, and now DCO constitutes an appreciable share of the feedstock mix used to manufacture biobased diesel.

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