Computer Controlled Bioethanol Process Unit
In the past, fossil fuels were used essentially for transportation, relying on the abundant and less expensive petroleum supply by then. But in last few decades, due to the increasingly expensive petroleum supply, there has been considerable interest in the development of fuels generated from renewable resources, that is to say, biofuels. The term biofuel is attributed to any alternative fuel that derives from organic material, such as energy crops (corn, sugar, sorghum and fruits among others), crop residues or waste biomass. Among all biofuels, ethanol has been trusted as an alternate fuel for the future, being already produced on a great scale worldwide. In this sense, bioethanol is expected to be one of the dominating renewable biofuels in the transport sector within the coming years. The Bioethanol Process Unit “EBEB” has been designed to perform a wide range of didactic experiments. Various processes, such as mashing, fermentation and distillation, can be studied.
The Computer Controlled Bioethanol Process Unit “EBEC” has been designed to study and control the bioethanol production process on a laboratory scale. This unit allows to monitor and examine all the important processes, from liquefaction and saccharification of the raw materials to the conversion of sugar into ethanol and distillation.
The unit consists of three main components: a mash tank, a fermentation tank and a distillation unit. All vessels, valves and other accessories in contact with the process materials (except the distillation unit) are made of stainless steel. The distillation unit is made of borosilicate glass. Sight glasses are made of Neoceram glass.
The mash tank includes an inlet at its upper cover for filling water, starch and enzymes. Its base is slightly inclined towards a port for draining the solution or pumping it into the fermentation tank. During the mashing process the starch of the raw materials is turned into glucose. The addition of the alpha-amylase enzyme enables the liquefaction of the starch slurry. Subsequently, saccharification starts by adding the glucoamylase enzyme. A temperature sensor and a pH sensor measure the properties of the mixture in the tank. The pH value is adjusted by adding acid and base, solutions, with an acid/base circuit system. After saccharification the mash is pumped into the fermentation tank.
The fermentation tank base is inclined slightly towards a port for draining the solution or pumping it into the distillation unit. The fermentation process takes place after adding yeast, producing ethanol and CO . A 2 temperature sensor and a CO sensor measure the properties of the mixture and the concentration of CO in the tank. Both tanks are heated indirectly with hot water through a jacket and stirred constantly. Besides, they are equipped with a sight glass so that the processes can be observed and monitored. Two temperature sensors, located at the outlet of the tanks' jacket, work with the PID controller to maintain the desired temperature inside.
The mash tank and the fermentation tank are thermally controlled by hot water, which is heated by a system consisting of a thermostatic bath and a pump. An additional temperature sensor is located in the thermostatic bath. After the fermentation process, the preparation is pumped into the distillation unit. It contains a heating mantle, a stirrer, a distillation column, a cold finger (dephlegmator), a condenser and a decanting funnel. Four temperature sensors additional are located at different points of the
This Computer Controlled Unit is supplied with the EDIBON Computer Control System (SCADA), and includes: The unit self + a Control Interface Box + a Data Acquisition Board + Computer Control and Data Acquisition Software Packages, for controlling the process and all parameters involved in the process.
With this unit there are several options and possibilities:
- Main items: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
- Optional items: 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.
Let us describe first the main items (1 to 6):
1. EBEC. Unit:
- Anodized aluminum structure and panels in painted steel. Main metallic elements in stainless steel.
- Diagram at the front panel with a distribution similar to the elements in the real unit.
- This unit includes wheels for its mobility.
- All the vessels, valves and other accessories in contact with process materials (except the distillation unit) are made of stainless steel. The distillation unit is made of borosilicate glass. Sight glasses are made of Neoceram glass.
- The unit consists of:
- Mash tank:
- Cylindrical vessel made of stainless steel, with an inlet at the upper cover to load the water, raw material and starch, jacket for process heating, stirrer (computer controlled), and sight glass made of Neoceram.
- The base of the vessel is inclined slightly towards a port for draining the solution or pumping it into the fermentation tank.
- Volume: 5 l.
- Fermentation tank:
- Cylindrical vessel made of stainless steel with a jacket for process heating, stirrer (computer controlled),and a sight glass made of Neoceram.
- The vessel has a base inclined slightly towards a port for draining the solution or pumping it into the distillation unit.
- Volume: 5 l.
- Distillation unit:
- Different elements made of borosilicate glass of high thermal and mechanical resistance, as well as perfect chemical inertia. It includes:
- A heating mantle (computer controlled), 800 W.
- Reactor flask of 5 l., with discharge stopcock.
- Reactor lid, with 4 inlets, especially designed for this system.
- Vigreux type distillation column.
- Stirring rod (computer controlled) with stirring lock that assures a perfect insulation of the system.
- A cold finger (dephlegmator).
- Liebig-West condenser with interchangeable fittings.
- Decantation funnel of 500ml.
- Temperature tappings placed at key points of the system.
- Two diaphragm pumps (computer controlled) to introduce the solution into the fermentation tank and the distillation unit, range: 3.8 l./min.
- Nine “J” type temperature sensors:
- Two temperature sensors located at the mash tank to measure the temperature of the mash inside the tank and the temperature at the outlet of the tank's jacket.
- Two temperature sensors located at the fermentation tank to measure the temperature of the preparation inside the tank and the temperature at the outlet of the tank's jacket.
- Four temperature sensors located at different points of the distillation unit.
- One temperature sensor located at the hot water circulation system.
- The temperature sensors located at the outlet of the jacket of the mash and fermentation tanks work with the
- PID controller to maintain the desired temperature inside.
- A pH sensor measures the pH of the mash inside the mash tank, range: 0-13.
- A CO infrared detector measures the CO concentration generated during the process at the fermentation 2 2
- tank, measurement range: from 0 to 20%.
- A hot water circulation system, including:
- Pump (computer controlled).
- Thermostatic bath , with computer controlled heating element.
- An acid/base circuit system, including:
- Two peristaltic pumps (computer controlled) to introduce an acid or base solution into the mash tank, max. flow: 0-13 ml/min.
- Two vessels to contain the acid and base solutions, volume: 1 l.
- Seven valves:
- Two needle valves are used to divert the hot water between the jacket of the mash tank and the jacket of the fermentation tank.
- Two ball valves and two needle valves are used to drain the solution from the mash and fermentation tank or pump it into the fermentation tank and distillation unit.
- One ball valve is used to drain water from the hot water circulation system.
- The complete unit includes as well:
- Advanced Real-Time SCADA and PID Control.
- Open Control + Multicontrol + Real-Time Control.
- Specialized EDIBON Control Software based on Labview.
- National Instruments Data Acquisition board (250 KS/s , kilo samples per second).
- Calibration exercises, which are included, teach the user how to calibrate a sensor and the importance of checking the accuracy of the sensors before taking measurements.
- Projector and/or electronic whiteboard compatibility allows the unit to be explained and demonstrated to an entire class at one time.
- Capable of doing applied research, real industrial simulation, training courses, etc.
- Remote operation and control by the user and remote control for EDIBON technical support, are always included.
- Totally safe, utilizing 4 safety systems (Mechanical, Electrical, Electronic & Software).
- Designed and manufactured under several quality standards.
- Optional ICAI software to create, edit and carry out practical exercises, tests, exams, calculations, etc.
- Apart from monitoring user's knowledge and progress reached.
- This unit has been designed for future expansion and integration. A common expansion is the EDIBON Scada-Net (ESN) System which enables multiple students to simultaneously operate many units in a network.
2. EBEC/CIB. Control Interface Box:
- The Control Interface Box is part of the SCADA system.
- Control interface box with process diagram in the front panel and with the same distribution that the different elements located in the unit, for an easy understanding by the student.
- All sensors, with their respective signals, are properly manipulated from -10V. to +10V. computer output.
- Sensors connectors in the interface have different pines numbers (from 2 to 16), to avoid connection errors.
- Single cable between the control interface box and computer.
- The unit control elements are permanently computer controlled, without necessity of changes or connections during the whole process test procedure.
- Simultaneous visualization in the computer of all parameters involved in the process.
- Calibration of all sensors involved in the process.
- Real time curves representation about system responses.
- Storage of all the process data and results in a file.
- Graphic representation, in real time, of all the process/system responses.
- All the actuators’ values can be changed at any time from the keyboard allowing the analysis about curves and responses of the whole process.
- All the actuators and sensors values and their responses are displayed on only one screen in the computer.
- Shield and filtered signals to avoid external interferences.
- Real time PID control with flexibility of modifications from the computer keyboard of the PID parameters, at any moment during the process.
- Real time PID and on/off control for pumps, compressors, resistances, control valves, etc.
- Real time PID control for parameters involved in the process simultaneously.
- Proportional control, integral control and derivative control, based on the real PID mathematical formula, by changing the values, at any time, of the three control constants (proportional, integral and derivative constants).
- Open control allowing modifications, at any moment and in real time, of parameters involved in the process simultaneously.
- Possibility of automatization of the actuators involved in the process.
- Three safety levels, one mechanical in the unit, another electronic in the control interface and the third one in the control software.
3. DAB. Data Acquisition Board:
- The Data Acquisition board is part of the SCADA system.
- PCI Data acquisition board (National Instruments) to be placed in a computer slot. Bus PCI.
- Analog input:
- Number of channels= 16 single-ended or 8 differential. Resolution=16 bits, 1 in 65536.
- Sampling rate up to: 250 KS/s (kilo samples per second).
- Input range (V)= 10 V. Data transfers=DMA, interrupts, programmed I/0. DMA channels=6.
- Analog output:
- Number of channels=2. Resolution=16 bits, 1 in 65536. Maximum output rate up to: 833 KS/s.
- Output range(V)= 10 V. Data transfers=DMA, interrupts, programmed I/0.
- Digital Input/Output:
- Number of channels=24 inputs/outputs. D0 or DI Sample Clock frequency: 0 to 1 MHz.
- Timing: Number of Counter/timers=2. Resolution: Counter/timers: 32 bits.
4. EBEC/CCSOF. PID Computer Control +Data Acquisition+Data Management Software:
- The three softwares are part of the SCADA system.
- Compatible with actual Windows operating systems. Graphic and intuitive simulation of the process in screen. Compatible with the industry standards.
- Registration and visualization of all process variables in an automatic and simultaneous way.
- Flexible, open and multicontrol software, developed with actual windows graphic systems, acting simultaneously on all process parameters.
- Analog and digital PID control.
- PID menu and set point selection required in the whole work range.
- Management, processing, comparison and storage of data.
- Sampling velocity up to 250 KS/s (kilo samples per second).
- Calibration system for the sensors involved in the process.
- It allows the registration of the alarms state and the graphic representation in real time.
- Comparative analysis of the obtained data, after the process and modification of the conditions during the process.
- Open software, allowing the teacher to modify texts, instructions. Teacher’s and student’s passwords to facilitate the teacher’s control on the student, and allowing the access to different work levels.
- This unit allows the 30 students of the classroom to visualize simultaneously all the results and the manipulation of the unit, during the process, by using a projector or an electronic whiteboard.
5. Cables and Accessories, for normal operation.
6. Manuals: This unit is supplied with 8 manuals: Required Services, Assembly and Installation, Interface
and Control Software, Starting-up, Safety, Maintenance, Calibration & Practices Manuals.
- *References 1 to 6 are the main items: EBEC + EBEC/CIB + DAB + EBEC/CCSOF + Cables and Accessories + Manuals are included in the minimum supply for enabling normal and full operation.TENDER SPECIFICATIONS (for optional items)
a) Technical and Vocational Education configuration
7 EBEC/ICAI. Interactive Computer Aided Instruction Software System.
This complete software package consists of an Instructor Software (EDIBON Classroom Manager -ECM-SOF) totally integrated with the Student Software (EDIBON Student Labsoft -ESL-SOF). Both are interconnected so that the teacher knows at any moment what is the theoretical and practical knowledge of the students.
- ECM-SOF. EDIBON Classroom Manager (Instructor Software).
- ECM-SOF is the application that allows the Instructor to register students, manage and assign tasks for workgroups, create own content to carry out Practical Exercises, choose one of the evaluation methods to check the Student knowledge and monitor the progression related to the planned tasks for individual students, workgroups, units, etc...so the teacher can know in real time the level of understanding of any student in the classroom.
- Innovative features:
- User Data Base Management.
- Administration and assignment of Workgroup, Task and Training sessions.
- Creation and Integration of Practical Exercises and Multimedia Resources.
- Custom Design of Evaluation Methods.
- Creation and assignment of Formulas & Equations.
- Equation System Solver Engine.
- Updatable Contents.
- Report generation, User Progression Monitoring and Statistics.
- ESL-SOF. EDIBON Student Labsoft (Student Software).
- ESL-SOF is the application addressed to the Students that helps them to understand theoretical concepts by means of practical exercises and to prove their knowledge and progression by performing tests and calculations in addition to Multimedia Resources. Default planned tasks and an Open workgroup are provided by EDIBON to allow the students start working from the first session. Reports and statistics are available to know their progression at any time, as well as explanations for every exercise to reinforce the theoretically acquired technical knowledge.
- Innovative features:
- Student Log-In & Self-Registration.
- Existing Tasks checking & Monitoring.
- Default contents & scheduled tasks available to be used from the first session.
- Practical Exercises accomplishment by following the Manual provided by EDIBON.
- Evaluation Methods to prove your knowledge and progression.
- Test self-correction.
- Calculations computing and plotting.
- Equation System Solver Engine.
- User Monitoring Learning & Printable Reports.
- Multimedia-Supported auxiliary resources.
8 EBEC/FSS. Faults Simulation System.
Faults Simulation System (FSS) is a Software package that simulates several faults in any EDIBON Computer Controlled Unit.
The "FAULTS" mode consists in causing several faults in the unit normal operation. The student must find them and solve them.
There are several kinds of faults that can be grouped in the following sections:
- Faults affecting the sensors measurement:
- An incorrect calibration is applied to them.
- Faults affecting the actuators:
- Actuators channels interchange at any time during the program execution.
- Response reduction of an actuator.
- Faults in the controls execution:
- Inversion of the performance in ON/OFF controls.
- Reduction or increase of the calculated total response.
- The action of some controls is annulled.
- On/off faults:
- Several on/off faults can be included.
b) Multipost Expansions options
9 Mini ESN. EDIBON Mini Scada-Net System.
- EDIBON Mini Scada-Net System allows up to 30 students to work with a Teaching Unit in any laboratory, simultaneously.
- The Mini ESN system consists of the adaptation of any EDIBON Computer Controlled Unit with SCADA integrated in a local network.
- This system allows to view/control the unit remotely, from any computer integrated in the local net (in the classroom), through the main computer connected to the unit.
- Main characteristics:
- It allows up to 30 students to work simultaneously with the EDIBON Computer Controlled Unit with SCADA, connected in a local net.
- Open Control + Multicontrol + Real Time Control + Multi Student Post.
- Instructor controls and explains to all students at the same time.
- Any user/student can work doing "real time" control/multicontrol and visualisation.
- Instructor can see in the computer what any user/student is doing in the unit.
- Continuous communication between the instructor and all the users/students connected.
- Main advantages:
- It allows an easier and quicker understanding.
- This system allows you can save time and cost.
- Future expansions with more EDIBON Units.
- The system basically will consist of:
- This system is used with a Computer Controlled Unit.
- Instructor’s computer.
- Students’ computers.
- Local Network.
- Unit-Control Interface adaptation.
- Unit Software adaptation.
- Mini ESN Software to control the whole system.
- Cables and accessories required for a normal operation.