(264b) Rectifier Design for Ethanol Plants



Fuel Ethanol plants have traditionally used trays in the distillation columns to produce fuels grade ethanol. Trays of various configurations have been adequate in this service and their technology is well founded. The ever present desire to reduce the energy needed to produce a gallon of Ethanol has opened the doors to structured packings being used in the rectification sections of ethanol distillation columns.

This alternative distillation tower internal has only really been used in the last 4 years, but has grown in popularity. Energy consumption is down & tower heights are reduced.

This paper will present real life experiences of using structured packings in both new and retrofitted towers in Fuels Grade Ethanol plants. Discussions will include economics, capacity, and other advantages of using structured packings in this service.