Interstate Power and Light Company, a subsidiary of Alliant Energy Corporation, and AE&E – Von Roll, Inc., a technology provider of steam generating systems using renewable, waste and conventional fuels, have together patented(*) a technology application that helps ethanol plants run more efficiently, reduce emissions and improve their overall energy balance. FCStone Carbon, LLC has joined the patent owners to provide marketing and arrange financing options for ethanol producers interested in the technology.
The patented process involves the way steam is produced for the ethanol manufacturing process. Using AE&E-Von Roll’s fluidized bed reactor technology, residue and byproducts of making ethanol are used as fuel to generate steam used in the plant. This process reduces the amount of natural gas needed by the whole plant by more than 50 percent while reducing emissions at the plant. This means lower operating costs and a better environmental impact.
As ethanol production has more than doubled in the past eight years, energy balance is a key issue. This technology will help producers reduce energy consumption while increasing the efficiencies of ethanol production.
Management says the new technology will offer more risk management and cost reduction for the ethanol industry.