In a recently signed contract with KAAPA Partners Aurora, LLC, ICM has agreed to be the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for a portion of an ethanol plant upgrade in Aurora, Nebraska. The plant, owned by KAAPA Partners Aurora, L.L.C., will be retrofitted with ICM’s P10 Process Optimization™, which is designed to reduce fouling and increase efficiencies in corn ethanol plants that use high-pressure distillation systems. This agreement will also include a Beer Degassing and Digital Control System upgrades.
“When corn solids are exposed to high temperatures in distillation columns, it can lead to rapid fouling and cause plants to shut down for cleaning as often as every three weeks,” said ICM President Chris Mitchell. “We developed the P10 Process Optimization™ specifically to address this challenge and help ethanol producers maximize their operational efficiency.”
In addition to delivering the evaporative capacity required to produce 200-proof ethanol, the upgrade reduces energy consumption by integrating heat from ethanol vapors into the production process. The recovered heat decreases the energy load on cooling towers, allowing them to chill the fermentation process faster and more efficiently.
According to Mitchell, ethanol producers can also expect to reduce syrup production by as much as 35%. When less syrup passes through the dyers, he explained, the dryers use less natural gas which contributes to lower carbon intensity scores.
“Having worked with ICM in the past, we know how proficient they are at bringing sustainable technologies to keep our facilities competitive in the industry,” said Chuck Woodside, CEO of KAAPA Ethanol Holdings. “We’re very excited about this new project and the potential for energy savings.”
This will be the second time that the two companies have collaborated on a project. ICM previously retrofitted KAAPA’s ethanol plant in Ravenna, Nebraska.
“We enjoy working with KAAPA,” said Mitchell. “They offer a wealth of industry knowledge that enhances the outcome of any project. We’re happy to continue that relationship and help them create more value with our process technologies.”
ICM’s P10 Process Optimization™ upgrade has been installed in several other plants. Three of those installations won the 2021 Ethanol Producer Magazine’s Project of the Year.
ICM has already completed two preliminary front-end loading engineering studies at KAAPA’s Aurora facility and plans to mobilize for construction in June. The project is expected to be completed in time for harvest.