Process Management

News last update:6 Aug 2012

New process cuts ethanol production costs

Carnegie Mellon University Chemical Engineers in cooperation with Cargill ave created a new process that can improve the efficiency of ethanol production. By using advanced process design methods combined with mathematical optimization techniques, the process can reduce the costs for producing ethanol by 11%.

The key to the new strategy involves redesigning the distillation process by using a multi-column system together with a network for energy recovery that ultimately reduces the consumption of steam, a major energy component in the production of corn-based ethanol.
"This new design reduces the manufacturing cost for producing ethanol by 11%, from $1.61 a gallon to $1.43 a gallon,'' said Chemical Engineering Professor Ignacio E. Grossmann.

Potential for cost saving
The work done at Carnegie Mellon demonstrated the potential for considerable capital and energy cost savings in the corn to ethanol process. "We look forward to the time when the tools developed by Carnegie Mellon researchers will become part of industry's new toolkit for making the process even more economical and sustainable," said Luca C. Zullo, technical director of Cargill Emissions Reduction Services. - Carnegie Mellon University.

External links:
Carnegie Mellon University Chemical Engineers 

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