Ashland corn oil extraction system to benefit biodiesel producers

By Bryan Sims | June 22, 2011

Ashland Hercules Water Technologies, a commercial unit of Covington, Ky.-based specialty chemical firm Ashland Inc., will showcase its newly-introduced PTV-M5309 corn oil extraction aid at the International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo June 27-30 in Indianapolis, Ind.

The customer base for Ashland’s product offering may strictly be geared at corn-ethanol plants looking to diversify their operations while minimizing costs but, as Ashland’s Global Biorefining Marketing Manager McCord Pankonen told Biodiesel Magazine, its corn oil extraction aid is expected to indirectly benefit current and would-be biodiesel producers seeking a quality corn oil product that could be integrated into feedstock streams.

According to literature from a case study conducted by Ashland in which its corn oil extraction aid was incorporated into an unnamed 50 MMgy ethanol plant using a Tricanter centrifuge for extraction, corn oil yield was increased by 500,000 gallons per year, increasing profits by more than $500,000 annually. Additionally, corn oil quality (solids and moisture) was improved while meeting feed quality specifications (Profat Tag and color). Ashland’s PTVM-5309 extraction aid allowed the plant to manage production on an as-needed basis. Ashland has interfaced with more than 20 ethanol plants for its corn oil extraction aid systems, according to Pankonen.

“We’ve seen large levels of heavy solids from the pretreatment, but we’ve been able to clean that up,” Pankonen said, adding that Ashland has been able to reduce solid levels to less than 5 percent. “I think this will not only potentially give opportunities to corn oil producers within the ethanol plant, but also really help steer potentially a better market price for a cleaner oil product for the biodiesel industry.”

Having already built a strong presence and customer base in the ethanol industry, Pankonen expects Ashland’s service-minded strategy will inevitably drive new relationships that ultimately help diversify the operations of existing and would-be biodiesel producers. 

“Really what you have with [Ashland] is a full package in terms of our people, our application expertise, our equipment and automation, our research and development roots and also our continued effort to roll out new technologies and new opportunities to make process and feed strategies better,” Pankonen said. “We saw a lot of adjacencies in terms of a lot of the chemistry that we use, not only in the other industries we serve, but, at the end of the day when you look at the diversity of our company, we really view ourselves as becoming a leading specialty chemical company and this is a piece of that segment....”

Pankonen expounded, “We’ve certainly committed to the biorefining industries and we really have a great relationship with customers,” Pankonen said. “It’s a very viable industry and it’s been a real good opportunity for us in terms of interfacing with customers and building business that makes sense both for Ashland and its customers.

Ashland will have experts available at booth #1011 at the FEW in Indianapolis to answer questions about its PTV-M5309 corn oil extraction aid system. To learn more about the FEW and how to register, click here.  


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