The current operational units process natural oils and fats to make Fatty Acids and Glycerine. The process units include:
There are a total of 170 storage tanks with a total storage capacity of approx. 36,000 tons and a total warehouse capacity of approx. 6,000 tons.
Process Constrol System (PCS)
PCS and programming are completely up to date and are for sale with the facility. They are Siemens PCS7 and Fisher-Provox systems.
This facility takes tallow from local rendering plants and converts it into fatty acids and glycerine. There are three splitting columns which are used to separate the oils and fats. The columns run at 740 psig and about 200°C. Live steam is fed into the bottom of the splitting column which drives most of the glycerine overhead in a solution called "sweet water" (12% glycerine in water). The fatty acid stream comes off the bottom of the column. An additive called Zeetag is injected to assist in the separation. There are six separators following the three columns: one for each column overhead and bottom stream. The sweet water moves to the Kestner 4-stage evaporator where the glycerine concentration is taken from 12% to 75%. Sulfuric acid is then added to the concentrated stream to remove the last bit of fat. After separation, the stream is neutralized with lime and filter aid is added prior to going through the plate and frame filter. From there it proceeds to the glycerine distillation section of the plant. The fatty acids from the bottom of the splitter contain primarily oleic and stearic acids. This stream goes to the fatty acids distillation section of the plant which is outlined later in this report.
There are 12 stainless steel storage tanks with a total capacity of 3,000 metric tons associated with this plant.
Fatty Acid Distillation Units
The Lurgi distillation units are used to refine fatty acids by removing the heavy ends and the volatiles. The stream is primarily oleic and stearic acids. The distillation columns run at 5-15 millibar of vacuum. The stills use high pressure steam candles in the bottom of the column for heating. Spiral coolers are used as the column overhead condensers.
There are 33 stainless steel storage tanks with a total capacity of 3,800 metric tons associated with this plant.
The separation plant is designed to separate mixed fatty acids into saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Fatty acid is firstly cooled though banks of crystallizers, and then mixed with a surfactant before being processed through a set of seven centrifuges. There are 12 crystallizers total which use -2°C brine for cooling. The crystallizers were manufactured in Germany and have internal mechanical scrapers to keep the walls clean. There is a 400 kw York chiller used for refrigerating the brine solution.
The stream then proceeds to the centrifuges. There are five Heine units and two Krauss-Maffei centrifuges with model numbers shown below. These units separate the fatty acid streams into the stearine and oleine components. There are 11 stainless steel storage tanks with a total capacity of 1,200 metric tons associated with this plant.
The batch hardening plant uses hydrogenation to harden a range of fatty acids. The fatty acids are dried and then reacted with hydrogen using a nickel catalyst before being filtered through a plate and frame press. The hydrogenator runs at about 20 bar of pressure.The nickel catalyst is removed with a Schenk catalyst recovery filter and reclaimed by Johnson-Matthey. The catalyst used in this process is Johnson-Matthey Pricat™ 9932. There are 7 stainless steel storage tanks with a total capacity of 900 metric tons associated with this plant.
Batch Ester Plant
The ester plant is a highly automated flexible batch plant.
The plant was commissioned in 1995 and is capable of processing a wide range of raw materials.
Raw materials are initially prepared in a pre-weigh vessel before being transferred to the reactor vessel. Reacted ester is then cooled while transferring to the bleacher vessel. The ester is further refined in the bleacher vessel before being filtered through a pressurized candle filter into the dedicated storage tanks.
Approx. 43.5m3 volume
There are 54 stainless steel storage tanks with a total capacity of 2,200 tons associated with this plant.
The Sorbitan plant is a highly automated and flexible batch plant. Sorbitol and fatty acids are prepared and heated in a pre-reactor before being transferred to the main reactor vessel. Carbon is also added to the batch to control color. Both reactors are agitated and steam heated with jackets. When the reaction is completed the batch is cooled though an external cooler before being transferred to filter tank. The batch is then filtered through two Boulton plate and frame filter presses prior to storage.
There are 12 stainless steel storage tanks with a total capacity of 500 metric tons associated with this plant.
The Triacetin plant is a highly automated and dedicated continuous plant. Glycerine is reacted with acetic acid and acetic anhydride in the bubble column and cascading reactor vessels. The overheads from the bubble column go to an azeotrope column where butyl acetate is added to help break the azeotrope so that acetic acid can be fully recovered. The crude Triacetin leaving the reactor train is then further refined in two distillation units and a deodorizer column which basically strips impurities with nitrogen.
Some critical pieces of equipment have been sold from the Triacetin plant which renders it inoperable as a unit. However, they can be replaced. These pieces include the bubbler/reactor column, the #2 still, and the deodorizer column (nitrogen stripper).
There are 18 stainless steel storage tanks with a total capacity of 1,100 metric tons associated with this plant.
Stearine Flaking Unit
The stearine flaking unit is used to convert molten fatty acids into to solid flake. Fatty acid is cooled and flaked on a Simons Dryers water-cooled rotary drum flaker. This unit is rated for 100 psig at 120°C and is constructed of carbon steel with a stainless steel liner. There is a 150 kw York chiller for cooling the rotary drum flaker. The flake is then conveyed with a bucket conveyor through a sieve and into automatic bag filling machines. The smaller bags (25kg) are automatically palletized and shrink wrapped. The bagging machine actually makes its own plastic bags "in situ". The machine was constructed by Esse Gi of Italy and is a model CTX-50. The product then proceeds to a Moeller model 4420 automatic palletizer and stretch wrapping machine.
The Bilanciai D450 drum filling unit is semi automated and was installed in 2006. It is capable of filling palletized drums and IBCs.
There are about 190 storage tanks in this facility, the majority of which are constructed of stainless steel.
Electricty, Steam and Water
There are three boilers in this facility. Two are Volund units, each producing 17 mt/hr of steam at 80 bar pressure. There is a Minster unit producing 20 mt/hr at 10 bar pressure. All three boilers were installed in 1998. They are dual-fuel units capable of burning natural gas or fuel oil.
There are two Ingersoll-Rand Centac air compressors capable of producing 900 CFM at 100 psig.
There is no waste water treatment at this facility, but there is a sump where any residual fat is floated and skimmed off the water prior to discharge to the city sewer. They also do some slight pH adjustment of the waste water and they have two Series 2000 COD analyzers checking the carbon content in the waste water.
Available. High level of electronic documentation.
Fatty Acids - 55%
Glycerine - 10%
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