ICM Designs Cassava Ethanol Plant in Mozambique

Cindy Zimmerman

Ethanol plant design company ICM, Inc. of Colwich, Kansas has designed and constructed equipment for a “one gallon per minute ethanol plant” currently under construction in Mozambique that will use locally grown cassava as a feedstock.

cleanstarThe project is part of CleanStar Mozambique, a company founded by Novozymes and CleanStar Ventures to protect forests, produce food, deliver energy, reduce air pollution and enrich lives. The vision of CleanStar Mozambique is to implement sustainable farming practices for smallholder farmers, and to integrate a food and energy production facility that will result in improved health and economic benefits for the people of Mozambique.

ICM“We’re thrilled to collaborate with Novozymes and CleanStar Ventures in this project,” said Dave Vander Griend, president and CEO of ICM. “Our employees put a tremendous amount of thought into the design in order to determine what equipment will work best for a location that has limited capabilities for overnight delivery. We are very proud to support CleanStar Mozambique in reducing exposure to breathing charcoal smoke through enhanced cooking practices, and improving the health and livelihood for millions of people living in the developing world.”

ICM’s Manufacturing division produced the shop-fabricated and specialty equipment components for the ethanol plant, which is designed to convert 18 pounds of locally grown cassava chips into a gallon of 185+ proof ethanol. Company officials say the reason the plant capacity is given in a “one gallon per minute” figure instead of the customary annual production number is that unlike plants in the United States, the Mozambicans do not have the ability to run the ethanol plant continuously, so the plant was specifically designed with the capability to start up in the morning, cease in the evening, and start up again the next morning. ICM has sized the cassava milling and cook process to operate 10-12 hours a day, and the small plant will include three fermenters and a beer-well. The distillation is sized to operate continuously, but the plant can begin and cease operations as needed.

ICM is providing a graphic control panel that contains the essential basics for motor control and flow control and during the start-up phase, ICM personnel will train the new plant operators in Mozambique.

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