Aventine completes coal-to-gas conversion at ethanol plant

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.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.