Degree Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2012

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Hans van Leeuwen

Abstract

An innovative process to add value to a corn-to-ethanol co-product, Thin stillage, was studied for pilot-scale viability. A 1500L bioreactor was designed, operated, and optimized to cultivate Rhizopus microsporus var. oligosporus via submersed fermentation in Thin Stillage. The biomass was harvested and processed into a feed suitable for storage and ultimately for animal feeding trials. Characterization of the biomass and feed trials revealed that there is substantial potential as a nutrient dense feed supplement with 41.1% protein, 26.3% fat, and metabolizable energy on s dried basis. The amino acid profile is superior to that of DDGS, with most notably 1.7% Lys on dried basis.

This process produces a significantly more nutrient dense product than DDGS, and could increase water-reclaimation in a dry-grind corn to ethanol plant. Industrially it would replace the energy intensive process of converting thin stillage into syrup that adds only $10-25/ton to DDG, while maintaining production of DDG. Using thin stillage as used a growth media for R. microsporus var. oligosporus, should not only lead to saving in energy costs, but also generate a high-value co-product which could lead to economic gains. Also there is still unexplored potential of enzymes, chitin, and co-culturing to further add value.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31274/etd-180810-743

Copyright Owner

Daniel Thomas Erickson

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

110 pages

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