Moralco develops technology to reduce glycerin in ethanol

By Ann Bailey | November 16, 2015

A start-up company in the Netherlands is working to commercialize a patented technology that it hopes significantly will increase ethanol in the fermentation processes by reducing the formation of glycerin as a byproduct.

Moralco hopes to market the product worldwide, said Jan de Bont, the company’s founder. The technology is based on controlling the introduction of acetaldehyde in the fermentation process. During the process, yeast converts the acetaldehyde to ethanol, reducing the formation of glycerol.

The technology is based existing chemical technology which has been proven, de Bont said. The ethanol industry easily can access the ethanol into acetaldehyde technology because several engineering companies have pertinent expertise and offer services, he said.

The benefit to ethanol companies is an increase of up to 5 percent in ethanol yield in raw materials, usually corn and wheat, de Bont said. The increase in yield primarily is the result of preventing glycerol formation from sugar and from combatting contamination. Using acetaldehyde during fermentation reduces the risk of infection and prevents losses.

“The technology is completely new, de Bont said. “Current efforts to partly prevent glycerol production are based on molecular-biology approaches. The Moralco strategy is on the basis of a process-based technology that is independent of the yeast or raw material used,” he said.