Argentina's largest ethanol plant begins operations

By Vogelbusch | October 30, 2013

Vogelbusch Biocommodities GmbH has announced the opening of a ethanol plant in Alejandro Roca, Argentina, that is based on its state-of-the-art technology. After a smooth start-up period, the production of prime quality ethanol from the plant owned by Promaíz S.A. has reached full capacity within shortest time. The corn-based ethanol plant has a nameplate capacity of 420,000 liters (110,952 gallons) per day making it the largest of its kind in Argentina. The facility utilizes ethanol technology licensed by Vogelbusch of Austria and is designed for best-of-breed performance in terms of primary energy and freshwater consumption and for full compliance with demanding emission standards.

In Argentina, gasoline must contain 5 percent ethanol (E5) and the fuel ethanol production is government controlled under a quota system which assigns supply shares to the producers. Now Promaíz opened its new bioethanol plant in Alejandro Roca in the central Córdoba province of Argentina. The start-up phase of the facility was performed without any problems and full production capacity was reached within less than a month. With a capacity of 420,000 liters per day the plant is the largest of its kind in Argentina and the bioethanol and byproducts (animal feed) produced in the facility are for the domestic markets. The plant will contribute a significant proportion of the national quota of ethanol in future. Promaíz already made its first delivery within this quota system from the new plant in August 2013

When contracting the building of the new facility Promaíz especially focused on an optimal utilization of energy and water. In fact the plant is designed for best-of-breed performance in terms of primary energy and freshwater consumption and fully complies with Argentina´s emission standards. This was made possible by state-of-the-art technology by the Austrian innovation leader in this field, Vogelbusch Biocommodities. "Increased level of legal requirements such as the sustainability criteria for biofuel production in the European Union is an incentive for advanced technology. This we make available to all our clients around the world,” said Torsten Schulze, managing director of Vogelbusch Biocommodities.

"We always attach great importance to the environmental sustainability of plants designed by us,” said Ernst Trimmel, project manager at Vogelbusch, "At Promaíz´ new plant maximum recycling and recovery of process streams defined the design from the beginning on." This included the Vogelbusch Multicont continuous fermentation process and the highly energy-efficient multipressure distillation/dehydration system. Air and odor emission at the plant is controlled with the aid of scrubber systems that remove volatile organic components from the exhaust stream and with treatment in a thermal oxidizer.

"Economic processes in combination with sound environmental design play a key part in state-of-the-art bioprocess technology,” said Schulze. In fact highly efficient plant configurations are a basic design principle of Vogelbusch. The company works on an ongoing basis to refine its technologies with new inputs for energy conservation, recycling and utilization of renewable energy sources.