Thinning the mash

What is Liquefaction?

Liquefaction is the second step in the ethanol fuel production process, between grinding and saccharification. In this step, mash from corn or other starches is first cooked down to a gravy-like substance.

Then, the liquefaction process begins with partial hydrolysis to lower its viscosity. This thinning process is helped along with enzymes called alpha-amylases, which break down longer starch chains into smaller ones. Once complete, the thinner liquid can begin the process of saccharification, one of the final steps needed to produce ethanol fuel.

The beauty of the alpha-amylase

How do enzymes help the liquefaction process?

Liquefaction is an essential part of the ethanol fuel production process. Enzymes called alpha-amylases play a big part in improving this process.

Novozymes Fortiva®, Avantec® and Liquozyme® alpha-amylases are enzymes developed specifically for the bioenergy sector. These tiny wonders allow ethanol fuel producers to ramp up the liquefaction process and have an improved starch conversion and biofuel yield. Liquozyme® also performs exceptionally well at low pH levels, which allows producers to save on chemical use.

Reduce chemical use

Learn more about Fortiva, Avantec and Liquozyme

Plant trials with Avantec® show immediate improvements in operating performance, including a 70% reduction in urea. Tests also show an 80% increase in corn oil production – even when eliminating protease. 

  • Higher starch ethanol yields than any competitive enzymes
  • Significant viscosity reduction for increased throughput
  • 70-90% Reduction in nitrogen input for cleaner bioenergy     production
  • Increased corn ethanol yield
  • Liquefaction protease for improved and more consistent     nutrition during fermentation of ethanol


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Novozymes Liquozyme® is a range of alpha-amalyses for liquefaction that help create a more efficient ethanol production process that is better for the environment.


  • Broad pH range (pH 5.0 – 6.0)
  • Super-concentrated formulations
  • Capable of handling higher solids
  • Elimination of added calcium


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