Greater Ohio Ethanol: Configuring a Fuel-Grade Ethanol Facility


Greater Ohio Ethanol was preparing to build a new facility in Ohio to distill ethanol from corn and prepare it for use as a fuel replacement or additive. They brought us in early to write the Functional Requirements Specification (FRS) document for the facility’s control system, and we worked with them all the way through startup.

Ethanol production, while organic and complex, must be managed efficiently at every step. Enzymes and yeast are added to ground corn and then fermented. The beer created during the fermentation process is distilled to around 190 proof and then sent through a dehydration process to increase the proof to around 200. A small amount of denaturant (gasoline) is then added to this 200 proof ethanol. It is then pumped to a large storage tank where it can be offloaded to trucks. The whole stillage from the distillation process is dried, stored and later used in feed for livestock and other animals.

We took on custom configuration of an Emerson DeltaV control system, then integrating control and automation of all elements of distillation, drying, cleaning, storage, and utilities. We handled loop tuning and process optimization. And we managed the on-site startup. The configuration and startup went smoothly, and the distillation process has run efficiently.

Services Provided:

  • Configuration of Control & Equipment modules
  • Configuration of Conventional I/O, Foundation Fieldbus, DeviceNet, As-I and Profibus I/O types
  • Operator display development
  • In charge of Distillation, DDGS/Drying and Storage, CIP (Clean-In-Place), Ethanol storage and Utilities (Boilers, Cooling Towers, Chillers, Water systems) areas
  • FRS development
  • Loop tuning and process optimization services
  • On-site Startup Services
  • Control System: Emerson DeltaV