While we make it sound easy, the process of producing fuel grade denatured ethanol is far from simple. Operating 24/7/365, the Sunoco Ethanol Fulton manufacturing plant continues to optimize process and performance by advancing the technologies used in the production process.

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process

Corn which is brought into the plant is unloaded from trucks or rail cars and is stored in silos. It is conveyed to hammer mill and milled into corn flour. The corn flour is combined with process water and enzymes to break down starch into fermentable sugar. The combined material is called mash. 
Yeast is added to the mash, and fermentation occurs. Fermentation is the process of converting the sugars to ethanol and carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is then piped to an adjacent facility that purifies it for further food-grade purposes.During distillation and dehydration, the mash from the fermentation process is sent to the distillation plant. The ethanol is separated from the liquid mixture by selective evaporation and condensation. The remaining water is removed from the ethanol using molecular sieve beds. 200 proof ethanol is combined with a small amount of gasoline to produce fuel grade denatured ethanol. The leftover liquid from distillation is centrifuged to separate the solid fraction, or wetcake. The liquid fraction is condensed to form corn syrup. The corn syrup is further centrifuged to remove corn oil. The corn oil is transported offsite and further processed to create biodiesel.The defatted corn syrup and wetcake are then combined and dried in two large natural gas dryers. The resulting product, called Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles (DDGS), is transported via rail and truck and sold for livestock feed.