Effects of ground corn particle size on ethanol yield and thin stillage soluble solids

Kalpana Naidu, Vijay Singh, David B. Johnston, Kent D. Rausch, M. E. Tumbleson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of ground corn particle size on ethanol yield and soluble solids in thin stillage was evaluated using a 2-L laboratory dry-grind procedure. The procedure was optimized for grinding, liquefaction, saccharification, and fermentation parameters. The optimized procedure was reproducible with a coefficient of variation of 3.6% in ethanol yield. Five particle size distributions of ground corn were obtained using a cross-beater mill equipped with five screens (0.5, 2, 3, 4, and 5 mm). Particle size had an effect on ethanol yield and on soluble solids concentration in thin stillage. The highest ethanol yield of 12.6 mL/100 mL of beer was achieved using a 0.5-mm screen in the cross-beater mill. Treatment using the 0.5-mm mill screen resulted in soluble solids concentration of 25.1 g/L and was higher than soluble solids concentrations obtained with other screens. No differences in soluble solid concentrations were observed in samples of thin stillage obtained from 2, 3, 4, and 5-mm screens which had a mean yield of 16.2 g/L. By optimizing particle size for maximum ethanol yield and minimum solids in thin stillage, dry-grind corn plants could realize reduced capital and operating costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-9
Number of pages4
JournalCereal Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Organic Chemistry


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