Kurita’s Cetamine Success at Renewable Energy StartUp

A biofuels plant in western Iowa was starting up with a traditional, 120 million gallons per year (MGY) design for a new plant. Kurita America bid on the start-up plant, proposing Cetamine® in conjunction with a caustic alkalinity booster. The plant was pre-qualified for Cetamine use.

Cetamine is part of Kurita’s creating shared value (CSV) product line that benefits the customer and society by reducing water and energy use and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Cetamine is safe and acceptable for the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations and kosher requirements. Kurita America had data denoting the chemistry was undetectable in distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS).

Kurita America won the bid for the new biofuels plant with the innovative Cetamine technology, which is a user-friendly and improved safety experience with a one-drum treatment based on makeup volume to the boiler and provides superior passivation of irons during plant shutdown and startup.

To find the best solution for the facility, field representatives worked with Kurita America’s analytical laboratory to obtain water analyses. The lab results were then used to create a site specific and comprehensive water treatment program that would maximize efficiencies, minimize costs, and meet environmental regulations. Kurita America representatives had taken into account the location, water quality, intended purpose, and more, and Kurita America’s laboratory completed a full water analysis based on the samples from the site. Given all these considerations, Kurita America proposed Cetamine as the best solution.

The Cetamine was fed volumetrically via the boiler makeup water meter. Initial feed rates were used at 50 parts per million (ppm) to passivate the system, but once that was completed, Kurita America dropped to a calculated rate of eight (8) to 10 ppm to maintain proper residuals.

When the plant initially started the use of Cetamine, it – like all other facilities – saw high iron for a short amount of time. Cetamine acts as an iron dispersant. The iron levels then fall before normal industry standards of less than 0.2 ppm. Kurita America monitored condensate pH and performed hydrophobic drop tests to confirm the presence of Cetamine. Cetamine does take up to six (6) weeks to work its way through the system and passivate.

Like most plants, the western Iowa ethanol plant dealt with a sluffing period. Although the condensate lines had been flushed prior to plant startup, observed particles and discoloration decreased over a six-week time span.

With Cetamine in the system, Kurita America ran the boilers and optimized feed rates a month before the plant began to produce ethanol. The first boiler inspection showcased the cleaned and passivated water side surfaces being in good condition, and the plant manager considered it a success. Additionally, condensate runs were clean, and iron rates had fallen into less-than-normal (0.2 ppm) industry standards.

Since start up in August 2018, the boilers have had clean heat exchanger surfaces that maximizes fuel usage. This gave the plant the confidence to take on additional projects, knowing that their boilers would be working efficiently. The plant started off with a high level of certainty and a strong foundation, immediately saving fuel and CO2 generation.

Cetamine is regularly fed with the normal water treatment chemistries as part of a robust water management plan. With Cetamine, the ethanol facility will continue to see positive results that maximize efficiencies at a minimized cost.

Contact Kurita America to learn how Cetamine can optimize your facility.

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