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Process Improvments

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  • #41231

    CT
    Participant

    Team,
    I am about to embark on a new job, and was wondering if anyone had any good information or reading material that would serve well in this type of business (chemical plant), specifically Ethanol Production for Gas. It would seem that my new role will be to make a lot of process improvments from start to finish. As Maintenance/Project Manager I will have about any resource that I need to get this done, but this industry is completely different than anything I have ever done before. My understanding is that there is a lot of “Low Hanging Fruit” and my first impression is that this true. Anyone who has a story of what to do and what not to do I would like to hear.
    CT

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    #129158

    CT
    Participant

    BUMP

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    #129161

    Chad Laux
    Participant

    I’m curious, where are you at currently?  Most ethanol is in Iowa and as an employee of  Iowa State University, I have more than a passing interest in ethanol.

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    #129162

    CT
    Participant

    Chad L
    Abengoa-Bioenergy, Portales, New Mexico. The company I am starting for also has plants in York, Nebraska, and Colwich, Kansas.
    The Portales facility uses Milo grain to convert to ethanol and wet biofeed, Plant capacity is around 30million gallons of Ethanol annually.
    Got anything to share? I am completely new to this business, but have some background knowledge, so anything you could send my way would be appreciated. Maybe we can talk offline.
    CT

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    #129173

    Mikel
    Member

    CT,
    My limited knowledge tells me there is a fermentation process which by it’s nature has to be batch and a distillation process which may be continuous flow or batch (end of fermentation to ship). Making this process flow better has to reap big benefits.
    Also, don’t take your eye off of technology and materials. There have to be cheaper materials other than corn and there are probably excellent opportunities to accelerate and optimize the fermentation.

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    #129177

    Anonymous
    Guest

    CT,
    Taking Stan’s point, would grass be a cheaper material. (I mean the type of grass you can watch growing while you sit on a porch in Florida.)
    Andy

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    #129179

    Dog Sxxt
    Participant

    A project to convert plastic and rubber waste into raw cruel oil already in the pipeline in my country. The new technology is bought from Taiwanese who claim that no countries including US and Japan have same capability.
    Used gloves used to be an useless waste in many factories, but nowsaday waste collectors pay money to factories to buy used gloves. 

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    #129182

    CT
    Participant

    Correct Stan,
    One of the biggest problems with the process so far is the cooling process. The Delta temperature out is only 3-5degrees F lower than Delta in. This plant uses Milo instead of Corn, Much Cheaper, but has less CO2 output. Other issues are High Nitrates in the residual water, which doesnt allow for reuse. 
    CT

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    #129186

    Chad Laux
    Participant

    Sure, go here for some general info:
    http://www.iowacorn.org/ethanol/ethanol_1.html
    Also hit your extention office of one the state unversities there, they may have some expertise.  As a doctoral student working in QMS in grain handling, I only have tacit knowledge of bioprocessers; but they are motivated to say the least. And production keeps increasing here,. it’s stated if it continues, Iowa will be importing corn in 5 years.

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