Flint Hills Resources Fairmont nears completion of coproduct upgrading project construction
The company expects to begin producing a high protein animal feed ingredient later this summer as a major construction at the Flint Hills Resources Fairmont ethanol plant is approaches completion.
The plant is installing an innovative technology called Maximized Stillage Co-Products (MSC), which was developed by Fluid Quip Process Technologies (FQPT) for the dry mill ethanol industry. MSC produces a high protein animal and fish feed ingredient from a portion of the distillers grains produced during the ethanol making process. Flint Hills is branding the new product as NexPro protein ingredient. The company expects to start up the new MSC technology later this summer.
“We are excited to be nearing the finish line on the MSC project,” said Randy Carpenter, plant manager at Flint Hills Resources Fairmont. “We recently installed the last major piece of equipment on our protein dryers. With that complete, we can begin getting the plant ready to produce NexPro later this year. It’s been a long road getting here, and we are grateful for our neighbours and our local communities who have been patient and supportive throughout this process.”
The project is one of the largest investments in co-product upgrading technologies ever made by a dry mill ethanol manufacturer. Significant construction was required to install the MSC technology including the addition of a new building and two protein dryers. FQPT provided the MSC technology and the process engineering for the project and will also provide commissioning, startup support and training for the system.
Innovative Technology Lets Ethanol Producers Upgrade Coproducts
FQPT developed the patented MSC technology as an innovative solution for dry mill ethanol plants to enhance their coproduct stream. The technology uses a series of mechanical processes to separate protein from the solids leftover after ethanol distillation. Centrifuges are used to isolate protein molecules from residual fiber and carbohydrates. Once the protein is isolated, it is sent to protein dryers where it is dried into a high-quality meal.
“The ethanol industry is highly competitive, and producers are looking for innovative ways to squeeze more value out of every kernel of corn than ever before,” said Todd Svihovec, director of project services at Flint Hills Resources. “MSC technology provides an innovative pathway for dry mill ethanol plants to upgrade DDGS streams to produce a higher valued product. We believe protein will continue to be a major value driver in our industry, and we are exploring options for growing our high protein production capabilities beyond the Fairmont plant.”
Flint Hills Resources continues to evaluate options for upgrading coproducts at its seven ethanol plants. The company recently signed an agreement with FQPT to explore the possibility of adding MSC technology at another Flint Hills Resources ethanol plant. The project is in the preliminary stages and is subject to final management approval.
High Quality Protein Feed Ingredient Alternative
Flint Hills Resources has already begun marketing NexPro protein ingredient to the aquaculture, pet food, swine and poultry industries as a high quality and cost-effective protein feed ingredient alternative.
“Demand for protein in the world is growing,” said Mark Murphy, general manager of ingredients marketing at Flint Hills Resources. “NexPro is a combination of corn protein and spent yeast. The combination contains about 50% protein and contains elevated levels of amino acids such as lysine, which is essential for growth animals. With its excellent protein content and improved amino acid profile, NexPro is a great alternative to traditional feed ingredients like soybean meal and corn gluten meal.”
In addition to its high protein content, NexPro has about 3.5% crude fibre, 4.5% fat and 1.1% phosphorus. Flint Hills Resources and FQPT have conducted over fifteen NexPro feed studies with well-respected university researchers to demonstrate value in tilapia, trout, shrimp, dairy, pet food, swine and poultry. The results of these studies have shown NexPro to be an excellent source of nutrients in the diets of these animals.
The cost to produce NexPro at the Fairmont plant will be lower than the cost to produce similar feed ingredients. NexPro will have a comparable shelf life to corn gluten meal and soybean meal and can be stored in silos or distributed through various transportation modes including bulk packaging and containers for export.
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