Published December 2014
Corn wet milling accounts for the consumption of roughly 15% of corn production in the United States. About three-quarters of the primary products from corn wet milling go to the production of sweeteners. Of these, high fructose corn syrup is the most important. However, in this review we have concentrated on the production of glucose as it is often proposed as a feedstock for downstream bio-chemicals.
Wet milling of corn can be considered to be the food-based analog to the refining of crude oil. The corn is separated into its constituent parts, and multiple saleable products are produced. The primary product of a corn refinery is starch. This can be dried and sold as such or it can be enzymatically hydrolyzed to any of several sugars: dextrose, maltose, glucose, or fructose. There are three other co-products: corn oil, corn gluten feed, and corn gluten meal. Corn oil is a food product. Gluten feed and gluten meal are agricultural feed products.
In this review, we present capital and production costs for a 200,000 bushel per day corn wet milling facility. The equivalent glucose syrup capacity is 993,000 tons/yr (dry basis).