CIP in Ethanol
Badger State Ethanol is a dry mill ethanol production facility producing 58 million gallons of ethanol per year. The company, located in Monroe, Wisconsin, also produces co-products such as distiller grains, corn oil, and carbon dioxide.
In ethanol facilities, clean-in-place (CIP) is an important application that it is often overlooked. If ethanol producers do not have enough hot water through their CIP process, the batch could become contaminated and result in wasted product. In order to counteract this problem, ethanol producers heat the water hotter or add more chemicals, both of which are expensive and inefficient.
Badger State previously used an inefficient sparging system for their CIP applications. Sparging causes uncondensed steam bubbles to evaporate in the atmosphere, wasting large amounts of energy. This lost heat/condensate can corrode piping and ceilings. In addition, steam bubbles form and cavitate on tank walls, causing hammering and damage to the tank and surrounding piping. Badger State experienced a variety of these problems and more – sparging nozzles completely breaking off during operation, rust on the high beams of their ceiling, and damage to the tank due to violent shaking.
Badger State decided to replace their inefficient sparging system with aHydro-Thermal EZ Heater skid (EZH skid). The EZH skid reduced their maintenance needs, by requiring minimal service only once a year, and eliminated the cavitation and hammer issues faced with the sparging.
Badger State also noticed a reduction in their boiler makeup water. Doug Friedrich, Badger State Ethanol’s Operations Manager, elaborated, “When we first put the EZ Heater on line, our boiler makeup water dropped by a gallon and a half. It is normally 35 gallons a minute and it dropped to about 33 and a half.”
The reduced steam usage was verified by the reduced boiler makeup water. Due to the reduction in their boiler water, Badger State experienced a total savings of $32,045 per year. With sparging, Badger State was heating the tank to its maximum temperature. Due to higher efficiency steam mixing, Badger State is able to heat the water hotter while using less steam. Although heating the water to a higher temperature results in a less drastic amount of steam savings, it does ensure a more consistent CIP, which was the goal for Badger State.