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Process Automation

Perhaps you have heard people talking about how the biofuels industry has been slowing down in recent years or that it’s an industry in recession. Well, that is surely not the case. In 2015, almost 15 million gallons of ethanol was produced across 199 ethanol refineries and three more plants were under construction(1). This was the best year ever for the ethanol industry, and 2016 was said to be looking slightly better. Most of the ethanol produced has been blended into gasoline to satisfy a maximum 10% ethanol content by volume in most fuel grades in the U.S.

What goes into making ethanol?

In order to make ethanol, an intricate process that involves fermentation and distillation needs to be accurately controlled and monitored to ensure that the various ethanol purities can be achieved. And although the process may sound very familiar to some of you, we’re not talking about making beer. As for any process that requires monitoring and control, accurate process sensors throughout the process is required as well as a Distributed Control System that can control the process from start to finish.

How do you ensure that your plant’s process is cost-efficient and running smoothly?

Have questions about your plant’s set-up or want to be sure you’re up to code? Share your comments below!

(1)Source: Renewable Fuels Association Ethanol Outlook 2016 – https://www.ethanolrfa.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Ethanol-Industry-Outlook-2016.pdf