August 2009

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HP Water Management: Update on water treatment for ethanol plants

Several refiners have recently purchased ethanol plants; here are some insights into the water treatment issues in these plants. The unit operation with the most stringent water requirement is the low..

Huchler, L. A., MarTech Systems, Inc.

Several refiners have recently purchased ethanol plants; here are some insights into the water treatment issues in these plants. The unit operation with the most stringent water requirement is the low-pressure boiler (~ 150 psig) that provides steam to the fermentation unit, distillation unit and/or the evaporators: permeate from a reverse osmosis (RO) unit is suitable. These plants also require cooling water and will have a cooling tower. In most cases, ethanol plants are located near their feedstock source. In the US, over 95% of these plants use corn and are located in the central and northern Midwest. Most facilities use well water, although some plant owners may have a withdrawal perm

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