Ethyl alcohol has been listed by scientists as one of the six most useful substances; in fact it has been said that, next to water, ethanol is the most useful chemical compound known to mankind. At the present time approximately 85% of all industrial alcohol is made by fermentation, the balance by synthesis from ethylene derived from the cracking of petroleum. Of the fermentation alcohol about nine-tenths is produced from blackstrap molasses, one-tenth from grains. However, by-product molasses is limited in amount and there is at the present time virtually no surplus. This is shown by the statistics of molasses production (4) and by the fact that the price of molasses has recently risen from 5¢ to 7¢ per gallon. It is likely to rise still higher as alcohol production expands to meet the needs of defense industries. Hence, other raw materials will become increasingly important. Of these, corn is the only one now available in adequate quantities in the United States. The present price of molasses at 7¢ per gallon is equivalent to about 60¢ per bushel for corn as an alcohol source.
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science
©1941 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Underkofler, L. A.; Goering, Kenneth J.; and Buckaloo, G. Warren
"Saccharification of Starchy Grain Mashes for Ethonal Fermentation Use of Mold-Amylase Preparations,"
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 48(1), 225-231.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/pias/vol48/iss1/39