AbstractThe present work aims to liquefy corn Distillers Dried Grains with Solubles (DDGS), a by-product in corn ethanol production, to produce liquid products as a potential substitute for petroleum-derived phenol or an additive in the manufacturing of phenolic resins. Efficient liquefaction of DDGS has been realized with hot-compressed phenol at 200-450°C. Effects of liquefaction temperature, initial phenol/DDGS ratio (wt/wt), residence time, and catalysts on yields of liquefaction products, as well as characterizations of typical liquid and solid products, have been investigated. The yield of liquid products increased with temperature, while it peaked at around 300°C, due to condensation/cracking reactions of the liquid intermediates/products to form solid products (i.e., coke/char) at temperatures higher than 300°C. The liquid yield increased monotonically with the initial phenol/DDGS ratio for a specified treatment time and temperature. An increased residence time generally produced a lower yield of liquid products, and a higher yield of solid residue, which was likely due to the increased coke/char formation from liquid products for a prolonged residence time. The yield of liquid products reached a maximum of 97 wt% at 300°C for 5 min-operation with Phenol/DDGS of 2/1. K2CO3, Rb2CO3, and NaOH were found very effective catalysts for enhancing the liquid yields. The use of these catalysts resulted in a 25% relative increase in the liquid yields for 5 minute operation with Phenol/DDGS of 1/1 at 300°C.