The first step of the path leading to the production of distillate from cereals is the reception of the raw material, its cleaning, storage, and milling. Through strategic partnerships with leading suppliers, we can provide specific equipment and systems for these functions, and integrate them into your workflow. The path of the grain (corn, wheat, barley, etc.) starts from the unloading hopper of the truck or train and then goes through pre-cleaning, and storage in silos. Subsequently, the cereal is checked and cleaned for the mills (hammer, or roller mills depending on the raw material and process requirements). The flour or grist obtained is stored in intermediate silos before the cooking and saccharification phase.
In the case of a plant producing alcohol from sugarcane gravy, the milling of the cane can be carried out in roller mills to obtain the gravy, or in knife, mills followed by a diffuser.
LIQUEFACTION AND SACCHARIFICATION
With liquefaction and saccharification, we mean the process that leads to the conversion of starch contained in cereals into fermentable sugars, through:
- Endogenous enzymes
- Exogenous enzymes
The aqueous sugar solution obtained by this process can be sent straight to fermentation or the solids suspended in it can be separated (for example through a lauter tun).
Liquefaction and saccharification are not necessary with sugary and vinous raw materials, as they do not contain starch and the sugar mixture is ready for fermentation.
Fermentation is the process in which the sugars obtained from the raw material treatment are transformed into alcohol through the metabolism of yeasts. Depending on the desired end product, e.g. a distillate for maturation, extra neutral alcohol, or fuel alcohol, the fermentation parameters are set to achieve the desired performance and organoleptic features.
Many options are available in the design of the fermentation section to optimize efficiency, including yeast propagation/multiplication, continuous or discontinuous fermentation, yeast separation, recirculation, backset recirculation, fermentation temperature control, CO2 recovery.
A diffuser is equipment used to extract sugar from sugar cane, which was previously shredded, employing washing in countercurrent with water. It is an alternative to the use of mills and allows high energy efficiency and extraction yield.