Stainless Steel in the Biofuel Industry

Stainless steel suppliers in Perth enable a lot of industries to perform essential tasks. One of those industries is the biofuel industry. Stainless steel is the material of choice in the biofuel industry for many of the same reasons it is so popular in the hospitality and medical industries. Stainless steel is strong, durable, easily fabricated, non-corrosive and its smooth surface is crucial for maximum sanitation.

The biogas, biodiesel and bioethanol industries all use stainless steel at many crucial points in their operations and it all centres around ethanol. Here’s why.

Stainless Steel in the Biofuel Industry

The ethanol industry is in a constant state of evolution with constant research and development. Procedures and processes for converting wheat, corn and other feedstocks into ethanol are constantly being improved to maximise yields while minimising production costs.

However, using feedstocks will not be sustainable once the popularity of biofuel surpasses “critical mass.” Consequently, researchers are working hard on extracting ethanol from cellulose using ecologically friendly feedstocks that are environmentally friendly.

Ethanol from Corn

Corn has emerged as a strong candidate. However, the processes used to produce ethanol using corn are mildly corrosive. Austenitic stainless steel is emerging as the primary solution in making production of ethanol from corn more cost-effective and reliable.

Currently, 90% of the stainless steel that is used in processing corn into ethanol is Type 304 or Type 304L, which contains less carbon. Type 304 is used in typical wet milling process, while type 304L is more appropriate when dry milling is used. During the pretreatment phase, which the most corrosive and requires the highest temperatures, C-type nickel alloys must be used. The most popular is Alloy C276.


Biogas is processed by extracting methane and CO2 using the fermentation process on materials like biomass, sewage, manure, municipal waste, energy crops or green waste. The process is moderately corrosive, but ammonia and hydrogen sulfide are formed in the digester, increasing the corrosivity of the process.

For more information on how we can provide your stainless steel solution, call Western Stainless Solutions today: 1300 794 647.

About Paul

Paul Bartlett is the owner and director of Western Stainless Solutions. He has a passionate commitment to personally seeing each project through from conception to completion. Mr Bartlett has owned Western Stainless Solutions since 2005. He had prior experience as a foreman for Caterlink, where he learned to fit out numerous restaurants with stainless steel equipment.

With Western Stainless Solutions, Mr Bartlett has overseen numerous large projects, always getting them finished on time and on budget. His favourite projects include:

  • Fiona Stanley Hospital
  • Joondalup Health Campus
  • Coles Inglewood
  • Woolworths Yanchep
  • Mt Barker Chicken
  • The Merrywell Bar
  • Perth Children's Hospital
  • St John of God Subiaco refurb and development

Mr Bartlett has extensive experience in completing large projects, but is always around to add a personal touch to projects such as restaurants and pubs.

Mr Bartlett also has experience in the sports world. He currently serves as a volunteer coach for School Sports WA and spent two years as the General Manager of the Stirling Senators in the State Basketball League.

The bottom line: Mr Bartlett specialises in getting things done. He has a “hands-on” approach that is rare for owners of businesses the size of Western Stainless Solutions.