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Performance enhancement in ethanol plants

Fuel ethanol plant of CropEnergies in Zeitz, Germany.
Fuel ethanol plant of CropEnergies in Zeitz, Germany.
Biorefinery, per definition “the sustainable processing of biomass into a spectrum of bio-based products”, is not just a fancy new word for a fuel alcohol plant, but a description of recent developments in this industry.
Producers must respond to rapidly changing conditions of supply and demand on the market and aim to have highly flexible production plants in terms of feedstocks and final products.
At the same time, producers strive to enhance performance in terms of energy efficiency, not only for economic reasons but also to be in line with ever increasing environmental concerns and legal requirements.
There are a number of technical solutions to transform a biofuel plant into a biorefinery, may it be for grassroot projects or by retrofitting existing facilities. Hereafter, some of the options are presented, putting the focus on projects that were realised recently.
Product diversification
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic decline in fuel consumption. In the US, a decrease in the consumption of biofuels of approximately 40% was registered between
December 2019 and April 20202. At the same time, the demand...

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Fuel ethanol plant of CropEnergies in Zeitz, Germany.