ICM installs advanced milling technology at 4 plants

By Holly Jessen | June 01, 2012

ICM Inc. announced May 31 that it had completed full-scale commercial instillation of its Selective Milling Technology (SMT) at four ethanol plants and signed a contract to install a second advanced technology at a fifth plant.

LifeLine Foods LLC, Kansas Ethanol LLC, Green Plains Shenandoah LLC and Lincolnland Agri-Energy LLC are early adopters of ICM’s trademarked SMT, which was formerly known as Fine Grind Technology. The Colwich, Kan.-based company worked collaboratively with Fluid Quip Inc., its equipment provider for the technology, to develop it and obtained the rights to license it to ethanol plants from Lee Tech LLC, ICM said in a news release.

The new product name more accurately describes the technology, which frees additional starch for improved sugar conversion. “The process of using energy to free more starch for enzyme conversion to sugar can involve breaking larger starch particles into smaller ones; or breaking/rolling starch away from fiber, protein or fats,” said Scott Kohl, ICM’s technical director for product development. “Our SMT allows plants to maximize this added energy by targeting the particles that can benefit from it most.”

SMT offers increased ethanol yields of 1.5 to 3 percent and increased oil recovery by 11 to 18 percent, according to data gathered during the operation of the technology. “After running the SMT we are pleased with how it boosted our ethanol yield, lowered residual WDGS starch and most importantly, improved our bottom line,” said Thane Combs, operations manager at Kansas Ethanol.

ICM will have a full-scale SMT disk mill and paddle screen on display at the company’s booth at the International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo, set for June 4 to 7 in Minneapolis. 

A time-lapse presentation of the installation of SMT will also be available for viewing. 

The company also announced it had signed a contract with Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy LLC (SIRE), located in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The plant, which ICM designed and built as a 110 MMgy nameplate capacity plant, has purchased ICM’s Advanced Process Controls (APC) system.

APC is an advanced integrated hardware and software system designed to maximize efficiency for ethanol production. The technology will improve the plant’s performance by increasing production rates while decreasing energy use, said ICM’s President Chris Mitchell in a prepared statement. It will eliminate the variability of operation parameters in a variety of areas, including water balance, molecular sieves, dryers, fermentation and more, resulting in increased profitability and other benefits. “SIRE is excited to add the ICM APC System to our process as we continue to make improvements to our plant efficiencies and performance,” said Brian Cahill, general manager and CEO of the ethanol plant.