Grain-to-ethanol refinery begins production

Wednesday, 11 March, 2009

Australia’s first grain-to-ethanol refinery has begun production in Queensland, with an expected output of more than 80 million litres a year.

Seven pressure vessels and five columns were fabricated by ASSDA Accredited D&R Stainless from 30 tonnes of grade 304 stainless steel supplied by ASSDA member Sandvik.

The column sizes range from an acid reduction column 750 mm in diameter and 14.2 m long to a beer column 1900 mm in diameter and 24 m long.

The columns were fabricated to tight tolerances set by process design engineers Detla T Technology, in the US. Kevin Endres, Chief Executive Officer of Dalby Bio-Refinery Limited, has worked with Delta T technnology in the US.

Endres said stainless was the obvious choice for its durability. A project of this size requires a low-maintenance and reliable material.

All design and manufacturing was carried out by D&R Stainless to ASME VIII complying with AS1210. D&R also fabricated 6000 m of grade 304 piping in sizes from 20 to 500 NB requiring over 6100 elbows, flanges and fittings from ASSDA member Stainless Pipe & Fittings Australia. All piping was X-ray quality and met ASME B31.3.

Endres said the refinery could eventually expand to output over 200 million litres of ethanol per year.

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