Element concentrations of dry-grind corn-processing streams

Ronald L. Belyea, Thomas E. Clevenger, Vijay Singh, M. E. Tumbleson, Kent D. Rausch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The dry-grind corn process is one of two technologies used to convert corn into ethanol. In this process, all kernel components are processed through several sequential steps, including fermentation. Only one coproduct (distillers' dried grains with solubles [DDGS]) is available for marketing. DDGS provide income to offset costs of processing; issues that affect marketing have implications in the economic viability of dry-grind plants. Two issues relate to elements in DDGS: high concentrations and excessive variation. Data on element concentrations in dry-grind processing streams could be helpful in addressing these concerns. The objective of this study was to determine element concentrations in primary process streams from dry-grind plants. Samples of corn, ground corn, beer, wet grains, syrup, and DDGS were obtained from nine dry-grind plants, and element concentrations were determined. The concentrations of most elements in corn were not different among processing plants and were similar to published data. However, for the processing streams, there were differences in several element concentrations among processing plants. The concentrations of most elements in beer were about three times those of corn, due to the disappearance of starch during fermentation. Syrup had the highest element concentrations. Variations in element contents of DDGS and parent streams were due to processing conditions and not corn. Appropriate processing of thin stillage (the parent stream of syrup) could reduce the element content of DDGS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-128
Number of pages16
JournalApplied Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2006


  • Distillers' dried grains with solubles
  • Dry-grind processing
  • Element concentrations
  • Ethanol
  • Stillage
  • Syrup

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology

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