Glucose, also known as dextrose, is a starch sweetener based on starch plants such as corn, wheat, rice and cassava.
As a liquid intermediate product, glucose syrup serves as feedstock for fermentation processes and it can be further processed to gain sorbitol or fructose. When crystallized, dextrose anhydrate or monohydrate are produced, which are used in foodstuff and in medical applications.
Vogelbusch process for glucose production
Starch is processed into glucose, a high DE (dextrose equivalent) starch sugar, that can be further processed into other types of starch sugar and to biobased chemicals.
The feedstock for glucose production is starch milk at a purity ranging from 98 to 99% of starch in dry substance.
Starch mixed with process water is buffered in a starch milk vessel to allow homogenization of the starch slurry.
Conversion from starch to sugar is carried out as a two-step enzymatic process.
In the liquefaction step, the starch slurry is treated with enzymes and fed to a jet cooker, where the starch is pre-liquefied. This solution is cooled down in an expansion vessel and placed in an intermediate storage tank for final liquefaction.
In the saccharification tanks, further enzymes are added to convert the dextrin into glucose and minor amounts of higher sugars (maltose, isomaltose, maltotriose etc.). By carefully selecting the process parameters, DE values of up to 98 can be reached within 30 – 60 hours of saccharification time.
For the separation of suspended particles such as fibers and proteins Vogelbusch offers a broad range of filtration technologies. State of the art polymer, sintered metal or ceramic cross flow membranes can be employed with the aim to recover the separated solids as a valuable animal fodder. Filter presses, vacuum drum or disk filters still form a cheap alternative and hence are widely used mainly for processing low DE syrups.
Deashing of the filtered solution is done in a pair of strong acidic and weak basic ion exchangers. Color bodies and foreign tastes are reduced to a minimum by activated carbon treatment. This is done either by passing through vessels filled with granular activated carbon or by suspending and subsequent filtering of the activated carbon powder.
To concentrate the solution, a finely tuned system of multiple effect plate type or falling film evaporators is deployed. It is heated by steam and/or powered by mechanical or thermal vapor re-compression, thus ensuring utmost energy efficiency in combination with minimal thermal stress for the product.
The final dry substance content is adjusted to the market demand, or to the subsequent processing steps.
Glucose is only one of many compounds in the starch sweetener and fermentation business.
Besides starch milk and sweeteners, grain processing facilities additionally can include the production of a whole range of valuable products and by-products such as
We understand the interaction among substrate, bioconversion, recovery and purification and can assist you in developing your complete grain-processing project, from raw material selection through to the final product range. Contact us for:
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Besides the production of glucose syrups, dextrose, high fructose syrup and sorbitol, glucose serves as a carbohydrate source for the fermentation of biochemicals such as
We realize biochemical production plants based on our proprietary bioprocess technology, and with licensed technology from third parties.
All figures given here are typical and can vary depending on plant configuration and equipment.
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Find out more about the processes used in glucose production:
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Glucose syrups are produced in a two stage enzymatic process containing mainly glucose and higher sugars, but virtually no fructose. Fructose syrups are produced by enzymatic conversion of glucose (see HFS).
Again, those syrups differ in their share of higher sugars, maltose and glucose:
Since the composition (sugar profile) of the final product is solely defined by the enzymatic conversion mode, a broad range of products from DE 32 to DE 98 can be achieved by variation of types of enzymes and process parameter.
Owing to rather low profit margins of glucose syrups the minimum economic capacity is rather high, normally starting at 25,000 tpa. However, if the glucose syrup is used as an intermediate for more profitable products, considerably lower capacities may be commercially interesting.
Glucose plants connected to grain processing facilities are run with one type of feedstock, which is the starch milk available there.
However, plants can also be designed to run on dry starch and in such case different types of native starch (e.g. wheat, corn, cassaca) can be processed with only minor adjustments of process parameter.
Decisive factors for the location of the glucose plant are the same as for grain processing:
The most suitable location is therefore next to a grain processing facility.
A small glucose plant excluding utilities can be placed in a building of approximately 50m x 36m x 18m (L x W x H). Additionally, space for product storage according to ruling logistics has to be foreseen.
Capital expenditure always depends on plant capacity and configuration as well as local conditions. Costs for the process plant (excluding building, auxiliaries, infrastructure) are from euro 5 million upwards.
This figure is for general reference only since each project has its own particularities that need consideration.
With permits on hand the engineering, delivery of equipment and construction takes 12 - 18 months depending on capacity and complexity of the plant.
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