Project Synopsis

Design a distillation system for the recovery of ethanol from a wine production waste stream.

Project Summary


The client, a service and equipment supplier to the wine industry, contracted Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) to execute a preliminary process design for a fixed installation ethanol recovery unit.  Previously, PROCESS had executed a preliminary design of a skid-mounted recovery system for the same client.  Specifically,PROCESS was asked to design a system to recover ethanol from a wine permeate stream via distillation at moderate vacuum.  Project tasks included the following:

  • Determine the tower’s optimal operating pressure, ideal stage count, and reflux requirements based on the overhead and bottoms specifications provided by the client
  • Develop a mass and energy balance for the design case
  • Prepare a Process Flow Diagram (PFD)
  • Estimate the required utilities usage and supply conditions.

The process was modeled using PROCESS‘ licensed commercial computer process simulation software, CHEMCAD.  Using this tool, parametric studies were completed to gauge the sensitivity of the system to both the overheads and bottoms product compositions.  From these results, the required stage count, feed stage, reflux flow, and operating pressure were determined.  Subsequently, mass and energy balances and a PFD were completed which summarized the major process streams and equipment.  These results were then submitted to the client in a final project report.

Industry Type

  • Food & Beverage Production

Utilized Skills

  • Distillation system design

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