Producing Valuable Coproducts to Increase Revenue

This is part 2 of a series. To read part 1, click here.

In Part 2 of our Challenges of Ethanol Production series, we explore how the production of ethanol coproducts has added more opportunities for plants. However, along with more opportunity naturally comes additional work and system checks.

Many ethanol plants are looking beyond just producing ethanol and exploring the numerous options for making coproducts to keep a steady revenue stream. Total revenue from coproducts, such as distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and distillers corn oil (DCO) to name a few, now make up a more significant percentage of overall plant income than ever before. In fact, coproduct profitability went up significantly in 2020, keeping the industry alive and progressing forward during the pandemic.

According to Christianson Benchmarking, LLC, coproducts revenue makes up an average of 27% of overall plant income as of the first quarter of 2021, even after hitting an industry high of 26% in 2020. Additionally, there are growing markets for DCO, protein, and carbon. Revenue from coproducts is likely to continue to grow.

For ethanol companies to safely produce coproducts for other industries – for example, the livestock feed industry – plants need to meet specifications and compliance for each sector they are creating a product for. Making a coproduct means additional work and another level of system checks in your manufacturing process.


Overall Plant Income Generated by Coproduct Revenue*

*as of Q1 2021, according to Christianson Benchmarking, LLC.

Plants using an MES solution have the advantage of taking the guesswork out of meeting quality specifications and constituents for each coproduct produced.

An MES tracks process and production activities at all stages of the manufacturing lifecycle to ensure the product meets its specification targets. The MES generates “Certificates of Production and Quality KPI” reports for compliance purposes. Ethanol plants with these reports can transport goods with the reassurance that products have passed all QC tests.

If you are interested in an MES solution that can:

  • Provide a centralized hub for all the data collected in your ethanol plant
  • Support your efforts to overcome the daily challenges of ethanol production
  • Ultimately guide you to optimal plant performance

We encourage you to look at Orbis MES. Learn More.