Imagine--Fuel Alcohol From Pea Starch
So you don’t like eating peas? Then how about fueling your car or truck with them?
That’s a possibility Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are exploring--using a type of fuel called ethanol, made from the legume’s starch.
Ethanol is among the cleaner-burning alternatives to petroleum, and is credited with reducing tailpipe emissions of carbon monoxide and other pollutants when added to gasoline.
In 2004, some farmers contacted ARS microbiologist Nancy Nichols about new ways to add value to their field pea crops. Most peas grown in the northern United States and elsewhere are fed whole to animals as a rich source of protein. The remainder is sold for human consumption as split peas.
Besides protein, field peas also contain lots of starch. The farmers thought they might earn more if the crop’s starch could be used to make ethanol for fuel, while still using the leftover protein as high-value feed for animals.
To find out, Nichols teamed with Bruce Dien, a chemical engineer; Victor Wu, a chemist (formerly with ARS, now retired); and Mike Cotta, a microbiologist--all at ARS’ National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Peoria, Ill. There, they put whole peas through a three-step process.First, they dry-milled the peas into flour. Next, they separated the protein and starch.
Finally, they used enzymes and yeasts to ferment the starch’s sugars into ethanol.
During studies, the fermented pea starch produced somewhat less ethanol than corn (1.7 gallons per bushel versus 2.8), because the legume had less starch to begin with. But the pea starch fermented just as easily as corn starch.
Potentially, the high yield of enriched protein, together with the fermentation leftovers, could be sold as livestock feed.Economic modeling studies are now under way to determine whether using pea starch could be profitable to commercial ethanol plants, especially those located in areas where the legume is grown.
AGRI-INFO/APRIL 8, 2008
TITLE: FUEL ALCOHOL FROM PEA STARCH
ALAM BA NINYO NA MAAARI NANG MAGING FUEL NG MGA SASAKYAN ANG PEAS?
ITO AY SA PAMAMAGITAN NG TAGLAY NITONG ETHANOL MULA SA ARINA NG NATURANG LEHUMINO.
ALAM NAMAN NATIN NA ANG ETHANOL AY ISA SA TINATAWAG NA “CLEANER-BURNING ALTERNATIVES” O PAMALIT SA PETROLYO AT ITO AY SUBOK NANG NAKABABAWAS SA TINATAWAG NA TAILPIPE EMISSIONS NG CARBON MONOXIDE AT IBA PANG POLLUTANTS KAPAG NAIDAGDAG SA GASOLINA.
SA PAMAMAGITAN NG GINAWANG PANANALIKSIK NG MGA EKSPERTO NG AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE NG USDA, PINANGUNAHAN NINA MICROBIOLOGIST NANCY NICHOLS, CHEMICAL ENGINEER BRUCE DIEN, CHEMIST VICTOR WU AT MICROBIOLOGIST MIKE COTTA, ANG PAGSASAILALIM NG WHOLE PEAS SA TATLONG PROSESO.
UNA, ISINAILALIM ANG MGA PEAS NA ITO SA DRY MILLING PROCESS PARA MAGING FLOUR, KASUNOD NITO AY INIHIWALAY NILA ANG PROTINA AT STARCH AT ANG PANGHULI AY GUMAMIT SILA NG ENZYMES AT YEASTS PARA SA FERMENTATION NG STARCH SUGAR SA ETHANOL.
SA GINAWANG PAG-AARAL, ANG FERMENTED PEA STARCH AY NAKAPAG-PRODUCE NG LESS ETHANOL KESA SA MAIS, MGA 1.7 GALLONS PER BUSHEL VERSUS 2.8) DAHIL SA ANG LEHUMINO AY MERONG MAS KONTING STARCH SA PANIMULA PA LAMANG.
NGUNIT ANG FERMENTATION NG PEA STARCH AY KASING DALI NG SA CORN STARCH. KASUNOD NITO ANG HIGH YIELD NG ENRICHED PROTEIN, KASAMA ANG FERMENTATION LEFTOVERS AY MAAARING IBENTA BILANG LIVESTOCK FEED.
KASALUKUYAN NANG ISINAGAWA ANG ECONOMIC MODELING STUDIES PARA MATUKOY KUNG ANG PAGGAMIT NG PEA STARCH AY MAPAPAKINABANGAN PARA SA COMMERCIAL ETHANOL PLANTS.