Oct 8 2013
One of Belgium's main bio-ethanol production units, Alco Bio Fuel's state-of-the-art plant began production in June 2008. As Alco Bio Fuel has been allocated a major share of the Belgian bio-ethanol quota until 2013, today, the majority of the 150,000-m³ bio-ethanol production capacity is destined for the Belgian gasoline market.
Next to bio-ethanol production, and entirely linked to it, the plant has an additional output of 130,000 tons of DDGS (Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles), a protein rich animal feed product. In fact, the production process at Alco Bio Fuel is such that 100% of the proteins present in the wheat can be retained and used as animal feed, making our DDGS a very popular animal feed.
The Alco Bio Fuel production process uses grains as raw material. The process uses the starch that is available in the grains, but does not touch the protein rich parts of the grain, which is used as a nutrient rich animal feedstock.
• As starch cannot ferment directly, preparatory steps are required. Wheat, for example, is first ground into a coarse powder or flour in a roller mill, and then fed into a mashing system, where it is mixed with water and the enzyme alpha-amylase. It then passes through cookers, where the heat liquefies the starch and the enzymes begin the process of breaking it down into sugars. The mash is then cooled and pumped to a fermentor.
The production of bio-ethanol involves three steps: fermentation, i.e. the enzymatic transformation of organic compounds such as sugar by micro-organisms such as yeast, and distillation, a process which allows the separation of components with different boiling points and physical properties. And finally dehydration.