Ohio Corn & Wheat grant provides distillation equipment

Mike Liston, an instructor at Tolles Career and Technical Center, used a $500 grant from Ohio Corn & Wheat to order distillation equipment. He had his career tech lab students work with Cathy Mehl’s chemistry students to do the corn mash and distillation lab.

Feed the World alumni educator John Thomas, another Tolles instructor, was also present for most of the lab periods to provide assistance.

The students made the corn mash, added enzymes and yeast, then put the mixtures in an incubator for three days to let the yeast go to work. Next, they set up the distillation equipment in Ms. Mehl’s room and collected the ethanol and did the flame test.

Liston said, “The lab really gave the students the opportunity to learn about the chemistry of ethanol production. We spent 5 single periods to complete the lab. I plan to do the lab again with just my students because we will have a longer period to make the corn mash. It seemed like single periods were too short by the time students started and then cleaned up.”

Liston appreciates having the distillation equipment, and Ms. Mehl has other labs in mind that require distillation.

“Thanks again for the lab, the instruction and Ohio Corn & Wheat for the grant to purchase the equipment!” Liston said.

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