Planning a bioethanol plant

Ethanol plant

VOGELBUSCH has been designing plants for fuel alcohol production since the 1970ies. With a current base of bioethanol plants with a combined annual capacity of about 5 million tonnes of alcohol, VOGELBUSCH is the leading supplier of technology to the alcohol industry worldwide.

The statements below can give only an overview of some basic considerations for planning a bioethanol plant. Process design of a bioethanol plant in every single case involves the reflection of certain key issues to ensure top performance - in terms of product quality, process economics, and environmental impacts - to optimise the long-term cost-benefit ratio for the plant.

All figures given here are typical and can vary depending on specific project setup. For particular information please email your project details to vienna@vogelbusch.com.

 

Questions & Answers

Which minimum capacity is recommended?

The economic minimum capacity of a bioethanol plant is at 300,000 liters per day (= 100,000 tons per year) in Europe; provided that energy cost are favourable it may be 100,000 liters per day in other regions.

 

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How much feedstock is required?

For 1,000 liter alcohol (on average sugar / starch content, all on wet basis) the VOGELBUSCH bioethanol process requires:

  • Corn 2,350 kg
  • Wheat 2,700 kg
  • Sugar Beet 10,000 kg
  • Sugar Cane 11,000 kg

 

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Can I combine several feedstocks?

Combination of feedstocks is possible, but higher investment costs have to be taken into account.

 

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Which location is favourable?

Decisive factors for the plant location are 

  • short transport routes for raw material and product
  • availability of energy (preferable biomass = CO2 reduction)

 

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How much space do I need?

For a 300,000 liter per day facility 5 to 6 hectare are required.

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And the investment for such plant?

The investment for a 300,000 liter per day facility is around 40 to 50 million euros for the process plant, this is however depending on the available infrastructure.

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How long does it take to set up the plant?

With permits on hand engineering and construction takes 18 - 24 months.

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Contact

VOGELBUSCH Biocommodities GmbH
Blechturmgasse 11
A-1051 Vienna | Austria
Phone +43 1 54 661-0
Fax +43 1 545 29 79

vienna@vogelbusch.com

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How to use bioethanol

Bioethanol can be utilized in combustion engines in different ways:

Hydrous ethanol (95% by volume) contains some water. It can be used directly as a gasoline substitute in cars with modified engines.

Anhydrous (or dehydrated) ethanol is free of water and at least 99% pure. It can be blended with conventional fuel at rates between 5% (E5) and 85% (E85). Practically all cars nowadays can utilize E5, most of it even E10; the use of E85 requires socalled FlexFuelVehicles.

ETBE (ethyl-tertiary-butyl-ether) is a gasoline additive that is manufactured from bioethanol.

Flex Fuel Car