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Bioethanol production from grain maize


In the bio-refining of feed wheat or grain maize, the starch from the grains is used for the production of bioethanol. Bioethanol is usually used in blends of petrol with up to 15% bioethanol. Bioethanol must be produced in a sustainable way (EU Directive 2008). This is also the case for the raw materials used. This offers the grower of sustainably grown grain maize in the region of the biorefinery plant new outlets.


Alco Bio Fuel ( processes 50,000 - 75,000 tonnes of grain maize grown in Belgium every year in the Gent Canal Zone. This corresponds to approximately 5,000 ha. The company aims to process indigenous grain maize from 15 September to 15 December. The grains do not have to be dried so that they are already harvested at a moisture content of 33 to 34%. At the end of the threshing season, grain maize is stored under foil in order to allow longer processing of native grain maize.


In 2015 and 2016, a variety trial was conducted at ILVO with the aim of detecting varieties of grain maize that are threshable early in the season (33 to 34% moisture content) and highly productive. Sowing in foil was included as this accelerates the ripening process so that threshing can take place earlier and/or later (more productive) varieties can be ripened in time.

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