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Efficient Dewatering of Stillage Improves Plant Operations

Centrifuges contribute to efficient ethanol production and can recover high-value coproducts.

Industry relies on renewable energy. A good example is the production of ethanol derived from a variety of sustainable sources. Modern ethanol technology increases yields above historical levels and recovers high-value coproducts from non-ethanol streams.

Ethanol has been produced from a variety of biomass feedstocks for decades. Corn remains the primary source, even though producers are at the mercy of fluctuating and inconsistent prices. Commodities such as milo, wheat/ barley, rice, cassava, and others are also used globally to utilize ethanol as a fuel or fuel additive.

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Ethanol production is fueled by the desire to reduce dependence on fossil fuels while simultaneously reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Flottweg designs and manufactures specialized whole stillage decanter centrifuges, along with the Sedicanters® and Tricanters®, to meet the needs of the ethanol industry.

Our centrifuges designed for ethanol production

Dewatering of whole stillage in bioethanol production Dewatering of whole stillage in bioethanol production

How does Flottweg improve the ethanol production process?

In the ethanol production process, the Flottweg decanter dewaters whole stillage after distillation, separating the material into two phases: the Wet Distillers Grains (WDG or “wet cake”) solids and thin stillage liquid. The Flottweg Sedicanter® recovers high-value fine protein solids from the thin stillage. During the evaporation process, the Flottweg Tricanter® can recover highly valuable corn oil from the partially concentrated thin stillage (or “syrup”) stream.

The defatted syrup can be blended with the WDG from the whole stillage decanter to create Wet Distiller’s Grains with Solubles (WDGS), an excellent cattle feed component. Plants with drying capabilities WDG/WDGS can be thermally dried to produce DDGS (Distiller’s Dried Grains with Solubles), allowing it to be stored and transported.

Customer Advantages

Decanters use less energy: Lower carbon intensity

The centrifuge requires 40 percent less drive power or 20 to 50 percent less installed power than conventional decanter centrifuges for ethanol production. The decanter efficiently separates whole stillage, leading to decreased dryer load and, consequently, a lower Carbon Intensity. Tuning the decanter to produce cleaner thin stillage can increase evaporator performance.

  • Improved evaporator performance
  • Lower energy requirements
  • Less maintenance work needed

Sedicanter®: Recover high-value protein

The Sedicanter® recovers high-value protein and reduces stress on evaporators during ethanol production. The centrifugal force of the Sedicanter® is between 5,000 and 10,000 x g, which provides high-quality clarification. Similar to a decanter in terms of feed solids loading, the Sedicanter® differs in its ability to process fine and pasty solids. The Sedicanter® can provide up to a 25 percent increase in dryer and evaporator capacities in ethanol plants. Removing finer suspended solids from thin stillage increases capacity while saving energy for ethanol plants. The Sedicanter® can also provide up to a 10 percent increase in distiller’s corn oil recovery. Additionally, evaporators can process low-viscosity streams faster and more efficiently, decreasing the amount of syrup produced. Reducing or eliminating excess syrup reduces or eliminates syrup sales, allowing the plant to sell the same material in higher-value coproducts.

  • Up to 25 percent increase in dryer and evaporator capacities for ethanol production.
  • Up to 10 percent increase on distiller’s corn oil yield.
  • Processes low viscosity thin stillage/syrup faster and more efficiently.Convert low-revenue syrup into higher-value coproducts
  • Lower Carbon Intensity for plants producing DDGS
  • Increased energy savings for ethanol plants.

Recover Corn Oil with the Flottweg Tricanter®

In addition to its high selectivity, the Tricanter® is particularly attractive because of its versatility. Thanks to the variable impeller, it can adapt to changing inlet conditions at any time. By comparison, three-phase machines from competitors require a shutdown, partial diassembly, impeller adjustment, reassembly, and restart. And if the feed conditions change again, the process must be repeated. An adjustment of the Flottweg variable impeller takes less than a minute, with results observed a few minutes later.It offers the highest possible purity for each phase and unparalleled flexibility due to the adjustable impeller. Maintenance is similar to that of the decanter.

  • Considerable revenue increases
  • High purity of the separated phases (solids, corn oil, and defatted syrup)
  • Flexibility for varying conditions in ethanol plants.

Special Features of Flottweg Centrifuges for Ethanol Production

The new slotted and tubular scrolls available for our whole stillage decanters provide 25–40 percent more throughput than traditional scroll design.

The Flottweg Simp Drive® regulates the differential speed according to the scroll torque. This means the Flottweg decanter automatically adapts to different solids load levels and dewaters the whole stillage to achieve the optimal finished solids. On the efficiency front, the Flottweg Recuvane® takes advantage of the rotational energy of the centrate, redirecting its flow to help turn the bowl, reducing energy consumption by up to 20%.

The Flottweg oil/air lubrication supplies the bowl bearings with the optimal amount of fresh, high-quality lubricating oil. This keeps the bearings at a minimal temperature and extends the motor service life with the lowest possible energy consumption—with minimal maintenance.

Compact external dimensions and short installation clearances give Flottweg centrifuges a low space requirement. They are easily accessible for maintenance work, and exceedingly easy to service. Flottweg is at your disposal 24 hours a day for global spare parts deliveries and service .

  • New scroll designs for increased decanter throughput.
  • Flottweg Simp Drive® for optimal total dry solids.
  • Recuvane® reduces the energy consumption for ethanol plants.
  • Air/oil lubrication for low-maintenance long-lasting machines.
  • Compact structure and a design with ease-of-service in mind ensures that the centrifuge is easily accessible for maintenance work.

Would you like to learn more about our centrifuges for ethanol production?

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