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Recovering phosphorus from corn ethanol production can help reduce groundwater pollution

Dried distiller's grains with solubles (DDGS), a co-product from corn ethanol processing, is commonly used as feed for cattle, swine and poultry. However, DDGS contains more phosphorus than the animals need. The excess ends up in manure and drains into the watershed, promoting algae production and eventually contributing to large dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico.  Removing excess phosphorus from DDGS before it becomes feedstuff could alleviate the problem. A new study from University of Illinois examines the best way to recover phosphorus as a co-product, which can then potentially be used as fertilizer for corn and soybean production.  "A lot of phosphorus is in the corn itself. When corn is processed, you get different products. Some of it is fed in animal diets, which already contain plenty of phosphorus. So the additional phosphorus comes out in the manure and leaches into the groundwater," says Vijay Singh, the study's co-author. Singh is professor of agricultural and biological engineering and director of the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (IBRL) at U of I.  Read more...



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