Pannonia Bio’s plant incorporates substantial grain storage facilities. Bulk, as well as truck-based receiving systems, enable grain suppliers to deliver straight to the factory. From here, the dried corn kernels are conveyed to the milling tower
Corn kernels are ground into ‘meal’/flour. A hammer mill helps break the tough outer coatings of the corn kernel, which increases the surface area of the starch. Milled corn is fed from the flour surge and conveyed to either the ethanol process or diverted into a patented fibre extraction process. Fibre-extraction: Once the corn has been milled, fibre particles are separated into a separate stream. Once FIBRE HAS Been extracted, various nutrients can be produced ranging from Oligosaccharide Prebiotics, Cellulose to Xylitol.
Once the corn fiber is extracted, the remaining ‘meal’ is mixed with heated water to form a mash. The mash then goes through a cooking and liquefaction process. In this, the starch hydrolysis process breaks sugar down to form glucose (a simpler carbohydrate).
Liquefaction lines transfer mash to fermenter fill lines. Yeast is added to cause fermentation to take place. During this process sugars in the corn mash is converted to ethanol. A delicate balance between the yeast and amount of alcohol in the tank needs to be maintained as a high concentration of alcohol can kill off yeast. Nitrogen is added to convert/nourish the yeast. The fermented mash is then transferred from the fermenter to a Beerwell - the mash now is no longer mash but „beer”.
During distillation, water and alcohol are separated using heat and specially designed towers. Dehydration methods are used to remove all the water from ethanol.
The stillage from the base of the distillation columns contain solids from the grain and added yeast, as well as liquid. The stillage is separated through centrifuges into thin stillage (a liquid with 5-10% solids) and wet distillers grain.
Dehydration occurs through a molecular sieve, utilizing zeolite filters. Under special conditions, zeolite absorbs water leaving the ethanol unabsorbed. The zeolites attract both water and ethanol, but the pore sizes are too small to allow the ethanol to enter.
The thin stillage (alcohol removed) is sent through a separation process to extract Distillers Corn oil (DCO) before it is put through a syrup tank and mixed in with the other solids from the beer to produce Dried Distillers Grain (DDGs), a high-protein animal feed. Roughly one kilo of animal feed is produced for every kilo of ethanol. Chitosan, Amino Acids and Mycoprotein can be produced by utilizing various components throughout the production process.
Pannonia Bio's ethanol goes to market mostly as a climate friendly substitute for fossil oil in the transport sector, while reducing CO2 emissions by close to 70% compared to fossil-based oil, and this is steadily getting better. What doesn't go to transport goes to industrial use in the solvents and cleaning product sectors and to the beverage industry. There is tremendous potential for use in the future of Pannonia Bio ethanol in the biobased materials sectors, for packaging, coatings and film applications.
Pannonia Bio’s Distillers Corn Oil (DCO) is a specialty ingredient supplied to the animal nutrient markets. Pannonia DCO is an excellent source of lutein, zeaxanthin, xanthophyll, phosphorus and unsaturated fats beneficial for livestock.
Pannonia Bio produces Dried Distillers Grain with Solubles (DDGS), a protein rich animal feed ingredient, branded as Pannonia Gold. Protein is vital for weight gain, growth and gestation in animals. This feed ingredient is distributed to over 27 countries throughout Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia.