Following the no load running test of the pilot plant on May, one group of King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi led by Asst. Prof. Veara Loha and UNIDO staff -Mr. Supalerk Kanasook visited FIRI for testing the 50 lpd pilot plant of ethanol production from cassava from 17th -22th July, 2018.
Testing fermentation system
Asst. Prof. Veara Loha & his collaborators ran the test of the pilot plant together with FIRI staffs. On 17th July, 2018, the group prepared fresh roots for fermentation and other processes such as viscosity reduction treatment, liquefaction, pre-saccharification and fermentation. On 18th July, they tested the 95% ethanol distillation column, and then took samples to check various indicators during ethanol fermentation at the laboratory. On 19thJuly and 20th July, the group continued to test the 99,5% ethanol dehydrator, check indicators during ethanol fermentation at the laboratory, and then examined batch distillation from cassava fresh root fermentation. The group held discussion with FIRI group and made some conclusion on the plant test on 21st July.
Testing distillation system
The test of ethanol production in FIRI pilot plant was conducted with 250kg of peeled cassava roots with the moisture content of 60%. The results are as follows: fresh root grinder capacity is about 300kg per hour. The 500L fermenter can produce about 138 liters of 40% ethanol. The capacity of batch distillation from 13,8% fermentation broth to 40% ethanol is about 30 liters/hour with the total distillation result at 140 liters of 40% ethanol. The capacity of the distillation from 36% to 95% ethanol is about 120 liters per day. And the dehydrator (from 95% to 99.5%) is about 57,5 liters per hour. The pilot plant ran smoothly and met the capacity required of 50 liter ethanol per day and other requirements. However, some minor equipment fixation should be done, such as changing pressure gauge to the range 0 to 2 kg/cm², improving feed pump and measuring devices. FIRI will fix these details in a month to prepare for the training courses in the coming time.
Mr. Supalerk Kanasook , Asst. Prof. Veara Loha & their collaborators (photographs by Dinh Duc Hien)
By Khuat Thi Thuy