Saving energy for Red River biorefinery

Project number: 
UA Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
Academic year: 
The distillation system at Red River Biorefinery has issues with its anhydrous ethanol production rate and energy consumption. Using design of experiments techniques, the team ran the system through ASPEN and Minitab software to find optimal ways to improve the system. These methods helped find and analyze potential changes that could reduce energy usage and increase product output, while keeping modification cost minimal.

The analysis showed that changing the reflux ratio, feed temperature, operating temperature and pressure improved efficiency by increasing the production rate of anhydrous ethanol. The team also found that changing the feed temperature and reflux ratio had the largest impact on increasing production, while maintaining its purity and lowering energy consumption.

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