Articles & Case Studies

Alternative fuel boom as Chemineer’s agitators succeed at world’s largest bioethanol plant

Posted: Wednesday 4th June 2008

HT agitators made by Chemineer of Derby, England, are playing a significant role in the expansion of what is already the world’s biggest single bioethanol plant in the far north eastern city of Jilin in China.

Particularly suitable for large tanks where long shafts and 24/7, 365 days per year operation is required, the process at the Jilin Fuel Ethanol Plant successfully utilises the Chemineer agitators in the giant 3 million litre fermenters where the enzyme treated mash is fermented with the aid of specially formulated yeast. Rugged and extremely reliable, the HT agitators have shaft lengths up to 15m long and steadily concentrate the alcohol in a series of main fermenters, preceded by a prefermenter.

Chemineer agitators are also used in the mash preparation tanks where the grain is converted to a slurry and mixed with enzymes, and other locations in the plant where mixing is important.

Initially handling 600 million litres per year, soon increasing to a capacity of 1,100 million LPY, Jilin’s greater bioethanol production is designed to help provide a cost-effective and sustainable alternative to China’s massive rise in demand for petroleum of which it is expected to have a 200 million ton deficit by 2020.

Since 2001, when the Jilin fuel ethanol plant opened, China has been actively promoting ethanol-based fuel on a pilot basis across five cities in its central and north-eastern regions, in a move designed to reduce oil consumption and create a new market for its surplus grain.

Late in 2004, virtually every car in North East China's Liaoning Province had to switch to ethanol fuel, with only a handful of exemptions such as army and State strategic storage facilities.

In England, work started in January on what is set to become the UK's first bioethanol production facility. Based on Indian technology, the £20M plant near Downham Market in Norfolk, will utilise Chemineer agitators in the fermentation stages to help produce 70 million litres of biofuel per year from sugar beet grown by farmers in East Anglia.

Tel: 01332 363175
Fax: 01332 290323

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