Reducing Energy and Increasing Production in the Distillation Process

by | Feb 2, 2016 | Flow, Measurement Instrumentation

Tonya Wyatt

Senior Product Marketing Manager

DistilleryMicro Motion density meters have been used to improve production processes across industries. When it comes to the solving the incredibly precise requirements of an ethanol distillery, the superior performance of these flow meters enables a whole new approach to measuring.

For the ethanol distillation process, density meters are used to reduce the amount of energy and heat that is required to produce raw spirits. These density meters measure the ethanol product at the process temperature and calculate and send the concentration value at a reference temperature. With this measurement the plant can maintain control of the ethanol concentration to maximize the level of ethanol while minimizing the amount of energy used in the distillation process.

The Challenge

V&S group, a leading producer and distributor of spirits, needed to meet increased demand for its premier brand, Absolut Vodka. In opening its most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly distillery in Sweden, the company sought to increase the production capacity of 2.3 million gallons (87.5 million liters) of vodka per year to 3.3 million gallons (125 million liters) per year, an increase in annual production capacity of 30%. Along with these new goals, the company also wanted to ensure its production processes were efficient, minimizing the energy needed to produce each bottle of vodka.

This attempt would require a whole new approach to heat and energy control.

The Solution

V&S installed several Micro Motion® density meters in the distillation column at the new plant. This meter type provided a greater density accuracy than previous flow meters used, and gave results to a ±0.1% degree of accuracy at the reference temperature [68 °F (20 °C)].

Greater measurement accuracy resulted in greater heating control during the distillation process, minimizing the energy used and maximizing ethanol levels in the process.

Installing Micro Motion density meters resulted in several benefits:

● Reduced energy consumption by 20% per bottle of vodka produced at the new distillery
● Provided a ±0.1% degree of accuracy for concentration measurements of ethanol
● Allowed greater heating control to reduce the amount of energy used in the distillation process

By improving accuracy and reliability significantly, V&S Absolut Vodka was able to meet its increasing production demand while reducing the amount of energy used at its distillery, saving on time and money while growing their business. When it comes to measurement solutions, the right product with superior performance can make all the difference. By carefully matching the company needs to the specific meter type, Micro Motion partnered with the business to make a real difference in operations.

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