Ultrasonic Pretreatment of Corn Slurry in Batch and Continuous Systems

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van Leeuwen, Johannes
Raman, D. Raj
Dunn, Larson
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Raman, D. Raj
Morrill Professor
Grewell, David
Affiliate Professor
van Leeuwen, Johannes
Professor Emeritus
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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

The effects of ultrasonication of corn slurry, on particle size distribution and enzymatic hydrolysis was studied for the dry-grind mill ethanol industry. Two independent ultrasonic experiments were conducted at a frequency of 20 kHz; in batch and continuous systems. The ground corn slurry (33% m/v) was pumped at flow rates 10-28 L/min in continuous flow experiments, and sonicated at constant amplitude (20µmpeak-to-peak(p-p)). Ultrasonic batch experiments were conducted at varying amplitudes of 192-320µmp-p. After ultrasonication, StargenTM001 enzyme was added to the samples and a short 3h hydrolysis followed. The treated samples were found to yield 2-3 times more reducing sugar compared to the control (untreated) samples. In terms of energy density, the batch ultrasonic system was found to deliver 25-times more energy than the continuous flow systems. Although the experiments conducted in continuous system released less reducing sugar than the batch system, the continuous system was more energy efficient. The particle size of the sonicated corn slurry (both batch and continuous) was reduced relative to the controls (without treatment). The reduction of particle size was directly proportional to the energy input during sonication. The study suggests that both batch and continuous flow ultrasonic systems enhances enzymatic hydrolysis yield, reduces particle size of corn slurry and could be a potential effective pretreatment for corn slurry.


This is an ASABE Meeting Presentation, Paper No. 097420.

Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2009