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.