The production of verbioethanol begins with the cleaning, sieving and grinding of the grains.
The next step is mashing, in which flour is mixed with water at a ideal ratio. Enzymes are then added to the mixture. This results in the mash.
This is followed by the cold mashing process – an energy-saving production method in which the mash is heated to a slightly increased temperature. The starch in the grain is disintegrated with the aid of a special enzyme mixture.
In the fermentation process, alcohol is finally created by adding yeast. Subsequent distillation and dehydration raise the alcohol level from around 10% to 99.8%, the end product being bioethanol.
The main buyer of bioethanol is the oil industry, which processes it at its refineries into fuel additives (ETBE or TAEE) for use in conventional fuel or adds it to fossil fuels in the form of either E5 (up to 5% bioethanol in petrol) or E10 (up to 10% ethanol in petrol).
Under EN 228, petrol may contain up to 5% bioethanol without having to be declared as such. The new E10 fuel has been available at petrol stations in Germany since early 2011.
Another marketable item is the E85 blend, which contains 85% ethanol. Alcohol-free mash also known as distillery slop continuously arises during the bioethanol production process. Containing up to 90% water and valuable grain fractions, for a long time it was used for fertilizer in agriculture. Since 2010, VERBIO has been able to refine distillery slop at its unique bio-refinery to produce biogas and organic fertilizer. This enables VERBIO to effectively make dual use of the raw material, 90% of which is converted into energy in the form of bioethanol and biogas. The residual ammonium sulphate solution is recycled in farming as high-quality organic fertilizer.