Researchers at South Dakota State University are trying to find out if they can squeeze one more product out of the ethanol process.
Dried distiller's grains is a byproduct of turning corn into ethanol. It can be fed to livestock or it can be heated to produce a gas that is useful in making bioplastics and lubricants.
That heating process leaves an ash material which researchers think could be used as a fertilizer.
The problem is that the ash is so fine and light it's hard to handle.
Professor Ron Gelderman says a solution might be applying it in pellet or liquid slurry form, or in a mixture with something else.