With implementation of new regulations and widespread advances in fermentation efficiencies come specific “modern day” process issues. A deeper understanding of sulfur and nitrogen will help ethanol plants adapt to these changes.
New sulfur limits require a fresh approach
The ASTM recently lowered sulfur limits for fuel ethanol, which has drawn attention to the use of sulfur containing compounds in the ethanol process. We will discuss the inputs and outputs of sulfur throughout the process and how to prevent a plant from producing ethanol that is above the sulfur specification limit.
Measuring and Optimizing Nitrogen
As the limitations of fermentation efficiency expands, the importance of deciphering the role of nitrogen intensifies. Today, nitrogen content in the grain ethanol process stream is often measured through several traditional analytical methods. However, these methods only provide snippets of the nitrogen puzzle. Piecing together enough of the fragments to gain meaningful insight can be a challenge. We will describe several of the current nitrogen analytical methods, the maximum benefit and limitations of the current data, and review case studies demonstrating how plant data can be used to optimize changes in nitrogen.