Making ethanol production efficient
James Steele, Professor
Department of Food Science
UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
2:55 – Total Time
0:11 – Role of bacteria
0:22 – Describe ethanol making process
0:45 – How is bacteria currently managed
1:02 – Current control process
1:15 – Solution to controlling bacteria
1:42 – Other benefits
1:55 – Will it improve yield
2:03 – How long before this technology is available
2:30 – What will your biotech company look like
2:40 – What is the market for this product
2:48 – Lead out
Sevie Kenyon: Changing the efficiency of ethanol production. We’re visiting today with James Steele, Department of Food Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and I’m Sevie Kenyon. Jim, start out by giving us an idea what the role of bacteria is in the ethanol process.
James Steele: Nothing good today. Yeast is there to be able to make the ethanol and the bacteria kind of steal from that yeast.
Sevie Kenyon: Can you describe, then, how that chokes the process of making ethanol?
James Steele: Well we have sugar in an ethanol plant that comes from the corn. And what we’re trying to do is then convert that sugar to ethanol using the yeast. If the bacteria competes with the yeast for that sugar it takes it to lactic acid and that’s bad because that’s not the product we want. Additionally, if enough lactic acid is produced, it will actually inhibit the yeast and stop the fermentation.
Sevie Kenyon: At this stage Jim, how is this lactic acid bacteria problem managed in an ethanol plant? Continue reading