Ethanol
Ethanol is either produced synthetically from fossil fuels or by the fermentation of renewable agricultural products.  A series of distillation steps are used to recover the ethanol from the raw product. Koch-Glitsch has extensive experience in supplying mass transfer equipment for these distillation steps.

Synthetic ethanol
Synthetic ethanol is primarily produced by catalytic hydration of ethylene.  The catalyst and several byproducts are present in the crude ethanol product. Distillation is used to recover the ethanol.

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Bioethanol
Ethanol is produced by fermentation of sugars derived from the conversion of starches using enzymes. After fermentation, the resulting "beer", a dilute mixture of ethanol, water, residual sugars, proteins, and mash solids, is concentrated via distillation.

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Cellulosic ethanol
and hybrid processes
Current development in cellulosic ethanol is focused on using cheaper feedstocks.

Other processes are being developed to produce ethanol by gasification of biomass followed by conversion to synthesis gas and then to alcohols.

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