Ethanol producer Aventine Renewable Energy announced Sept. 2 the completion of a $13.2m project to upgrade its wet mill ethanol plant in Pekin, Ill., by replacing 70-year-old coal boiler technology with two newly installed Indeck high-pressure natural gas boilers.
The boiler installation is part of the more than $30m investment Aventine is making to restore its two plants in Pekin.
The new boilers at the 160-million-gallon wet mill improve efficiency while also reducing annual emissions of SO2 by more than 13,000 tons and emissions of ash by 215 tons. As a cogeneration facility, the plant makes high-pressure steam that is run through turbines, generating 8 MW of electricity and using low-pressure steam in the process of corn wet milling. Three old coal boilers, including two vintage 1944 stoker boilers and a 1955 vintage steam boiler, will be permanently retired in early September.
“Ag processing plants must be rebuilt every 20 years, so we are rebuilding the Pekin wet mill to be productive for another 20 years,” said Mark Beemer, president and CEO of Aventine.