Project Synopsis

Process design of a mobile skid mounted ethanol recovery process to recover ethanol from a winery waste stream.

Project Summary


Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was contracted by the client, a service and equipment supplier to the wine industry, to develop a process design for a skid-mounted distillation system to recover ethanol from a wine permeate stream.  Wine permeate is a winery waste stream that contains some ethanol that can be recovered for its commercial value.  The tasks involved in this project included:

  • Develop a process simulation, using PROCESS‘ licensed commercial computer process simulation software, CHEMCAD, of the ethanol/wine distillation system to develop a mass and energy balance and prepare a Process Flow Diagram (PFD) of the skid-mounted process.
  • Perform distillation column sizing calculations also using CHEMCAD.  The column was designed as a packed-bed scrubber using structured packing.
  • Size and cost the distillation column auxiliary equipment such as pumps, reboiler, and condenser using the mass and energy balance information.  CHEMCAD CCTHERM heat exchanger design/evaluation software was used to size the reboiler, condenser, and heat recovery exchanger.
  • Execute additional process simulations for alternative mass and energy balance cases to compare vacuum distillation with atmospheric distillation and utility options of chiller water versus cooling water.
  • The addition of piping unit operations to the simulation to allow for an estimate of the system pressure profile and to further define pumping and hydraulic requirements.

This project presented special challenges because of an overall height requirement for the skid package that would allow the unit to be transported by road to different wineries and have sufficient clearance for roadway overpasses. PROCESS was able to design the distillation column such that the overall height requirements were met.

Industry Type

  • Food & Beverage Production

Utilized Skills

  • Distillation system design
  • Skid mounted process design

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