Dry-grind processing using amylase corn and superior yeast to reduce the exogenous enzyme requirements in bioethanol production

Deepak Kumar, Vijay Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Conventional corn dry-grind ethanol production process requires exogenous alpha and glucoamylases enzymes to breakdown starch into glucose, which is fermented to ethanol by yeast. This study evaluates the potential use of new genetically engineered corn and yeast, which can eliminate or minimize the use of these external enzymes, improve the economics and process efficiencies, and simplify the process. An approach of in situ ethanol removal during fermentation was also investigated for its potential to improve the efficiency of high-solid fermentation, which can significantly reduce the downstream ethanol and co-product recovery cost. Results: The fermentation of amylase corn (producing endogenous α-amylase) using conventional yeast and no addition of exogenous α-amylase resulted in ethanol concentration of 4.1 % higher compared to control treatment (conventional corn using exogenous α-amylase). Conventional corn processed with exogenous α-amylase and superior yeast (producing glucoamylase or GA) with no exogenous glucoamylase addition resulted in ethanol concentration similar to control treatment (conventional yeast with exogenous glucoamylase addition). Combination of amylase corn and superior yeast required only 25 % of recommended glucoamylase dose to complete fermentation and achieve ethanol concentration and yield similar to control treatment (conventional corn with exogenous α-amylase, conventional yeast with exogenous glucoamylase). Use of superior yeast with 50 % GA addition resulted in similar increases in yield for conventional or amylase corn of approximately 7 % compared to that of control treatment. Combination of amylase corn, superior yeast, and in situ ethanol removal resulted in a process that allowed complete fermentation of 40 % slurry solids with only 50 % of exogenous GA enzyme requirements and 64.6 % higher ethanol yield compared to that of conventional process. Conclusions: Use of amylase corn and superior yeast in the dry-grind processing industry can reduce the total external enzyme usage by more than 80 %, and combining their use with in situ removal of ethanol during fermentation allows efficient high-solid fermentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number648
JournalBiotechnology for Biofuels
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 24 2016


  • Amylase corn
  • Bioethanol
  • Dry-grind
  • High-solid fermentation
  • In situ ethanol removal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Energy
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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