Another bump on the street for ethanol.
Several tests have indicated that distillers grains contain antibiotics.
Bacterial organisms present during distillation can sometimes out-compete yeast in the breakdown of sugar.
The easiest way to kill these bacteria is to use antibiotics.
Most ethanol plants factor recovering part of their costs by selling fuel-making waste as a proportioned feed ingredient for livestock, swine and poultry. One 56 pound bushel of corn produces 18 pounds, 2.72 gallons, of ethanol and approximately 17 pounds of distillers grains.
Samples of DG requested from 60 ethanol plants revealed the presence of four types of antibiotics: penicillin, virginiamycin, erythromycin and tylosin.
The FDA hasn’t clamped down on antibiotics in ethanol distillation, but this may change.
A growing number of medical authorities fear that traces of antibiotics have leaked through feed and manure into drinking water to promote the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Runoff is a severe challenge, plus our wastewater plants are designed to remove simple nutrients from water, not drugs and chemicals that are increasingly discharged into waterways.