The Department of Agriculture is developing a new industry in the production of alcohol from corncobs, which, the department says, promises to be of much commercial, value. Investigations are being made at Hoopeston, I11., and have proved that the large quantities of corncobs which every year go to waste can be made to produce alcohol in sufficient qualities to justify the erection of a distilling plant in connection with a corn cannery.
So far the department has succeeded by simple methods of fermentation in getting a yield of 11 gallons of alcohol from a ton of green cobs, and, by similar methods, in getting 6 gallons of alcohol from a ton of green cornstalks. A department official says that these tests show that there are 240 pounds of fermentable substance in a ton of green field cornstalks, which will yield about half of their weight in absolute alcohol. In round numbers, a ton of stalks will produce 100 pounds of alcohol or 200 pounds of proof spirits. As a gallon of alcohol weighs nearly 7 pounds, there should be 15 gallons of alcohol in a ton of stalks. The addition of the corn on the cob adds further to the possibilities of alcohol obtainable from a ton of cobs, and will have its influence in bringing the quantity to a greater figure.