Bioethanol process

Fermentation and distillation columns of an ethanol plant

Proprietary Technology

VOGELBUSCH offers proprietary technology for every stage of bioethanol production. Fermentation and subsequent separation by distillation/rectification and dehydration are the core process groups, while technologies for raw material preparation, auxiliaries and by-product treatment are adjusted to the raw material.

VOGELBUSCH bioethanol plants are designed for outstanding yield and product quality, and are most advanced in terms of energy saving and environment protection.


In the fermentation stage glucose is transformed into alcohol by yeast. The VOGELBUSCH MULTICONT© Continuous Fermentation Process consists of a pre-fermenter and, depending on capacity, between four and seven main fermenters in series.

Distillation | Rectification | Dehydration

The alcoholic mash is fed to the distillation. In several process columns in series the crude alcohol is purified to obtain the desired final product quality. The VOGELBUSCH MULTI PRESSURE© column system operates at different pressure levels in order to save live steam. Further energy savings are achieved by the superior thermal integration of other process sections. Dehydration of the ethanol is carried out with molecular sieves in a pressure swing reactivation system (PSA). The final product, bioethanol, has a purity of up to 99.95% w/w.

Evaporation | Stillage drying

Stillage is partly recycled within the process to save water and energy, the rest is concentrated in the evaporation. Solid residues from grain alcohol are converted into DDGS, a high value co-product sold as animal feed. Concentrated molasses stillage (from sugar plants) can be sold as animal food additive or fertilizer, or can also be incinerated for steam generation for the plant.

Second generation

In most cases, modified first generation technology from VOGELBUSCH can be combined with conversion processes for second generation (2G) feedstocks. The integration of commercially proven first generation and novel 2G processes reduces the technology risk for investors, freeing scientists and engineers to concentrate their efforts on optimizing feedstock treatment.


Read about Feedstocks

Read about 2G | Second generation

Read about Planning a bioethanol plant

View  VOGELBUSCH showcase projects



VOGELBUSCH Biocommodities GmbH
Blechturmgasse 11
A-1050 Vienna | Austria
Phone +43 1 54 661-0
Fax +43 1 545 29 79

GHG balance

Life cycle analysis shows that the key to greenhouse gas emission savings, besides agriculture, is the bioethanol production process.

A proven, cost-effective way of cutting GHG emissions is the reduction of the primary energy input in production. Advanced and energy efficient technology makes an important contribution to climate protection and sustainability.