Ethanol producers have another weapon in their fight to control scale in their evaporators.
A producer of specialty chemicals, Solenis has launched its Polystabil AS4535 to help ethanol plants improve heat transfer and reduce downtime due to scale while still meeting regulatory guidelines for chemical usage. The Wilmington, Del.-based company introduced the new product at the 2015 International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo in Minneapolis.
Inorganic hard scales that form in fuel ethanol evaporators can reduce plant efficiency and profitability by increasing water and energy usage. The most widely used scale inhibitors for evaporators employ the continuous feed of polyacrylate chemistry. While these treatments can be effective, the concentration of polyacrylate allowed in the thin stillage stream is limited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other international food administrations to 10 ppm, which is often too low of a dose to effectively control scale.
Solenis’ proprietary blended product starts working at a dosage level below traditional polyacrylate chemistries, says the company, and allows higher dosages — up to 22.6 ppm — while still meeting regulatory requirements.
“This novel product performs significantly better than polyacrylate chemistries and allows fuel ethanol plants to split feed the chemistry, for example at the front of the evaporators to treat the whole system, and then with an additional dosage before problem areas, such as the evaporator where inorganics are concentrated,” said Allen Ziegler, global biorefining marketing director. “This results in improved heat transfer efficiency and a reduced need for cleaning and related downtime. Fuel ethanol operations using Polystabil AS4535 scale inhibitor are therefore able to maintain maximum efficiency while staying within regulatory limits.”
Solenis, which was previously known as Ashland Water Technologies, has introduced several solutions developed for fuel ethanol producers. Other process and water treatments include FDA-approved corn oil extraction aids for both disk-stack and tricanter systems; a proprietary control system that allows for around-the-clock surveillance and control of process and water treatment programs; a low-corrosion microbiocide for cooling water systems; and new antibiotic-free fermentation aids.