VSEP Membrane System Converts Liability to Asset While Improving Ethanol Yields
EMERYVILLE, CA November 8, 2011—New Logic Research announced today the successful commissioning of a full-scale VSEP membrane separation system at a Brazilian ethanol plant. The nanofiltration system was installed to concentrate an ethanol byproduct called vinasse (vinaza).
While vinasse has traditionally been applied directly to the fields as a fertilizer, recent evidence suggests this practice is reducing sugar crop yields and shortening the useful life of the land. Adding to the current vinasse challenge is a two-year drought that has further strained the sugar crop.
With vinasse not being land-applied, the problems of storage and treatment are rapidly compounded. Traditional treatment methods, however, have fallen far short of their goals. Pipelines are costly to build and maintain, and the vinasse must be treated once it reaches its destination. Evaporators are effective, but their high capital and operating costs greatly upset ethanol’s delicate energy balance, rendering the fuel energy-neutral at best. Biological treatment systems have also been employed for vinasse treatment, but these large footprint systems present a host of operational challenges and only a partial solution to the problem. Standing in contrast to these treatment options is VSEP. VSEP’s patented resonating design is inherently energy-efficient, achieves a perfect separation with no pretreatment, and does so in a compact footprint.
The i84 VSEP nanofiltration system currently recovers 70% of the raw vinasse as clean water for irrigation, leaving a concentrated vinasse that’s just 30% of its starting volume. This high nutrient value vinasse stream is currently sent to storage ponds while the ethanol producer weighs a multitude of options for beneficial reuse.
“With a vinasse to ethanol ratio of 16:1, the need for innovative treatment methods is clear. The success of this full-scale system validates the data collected at both the lab and pilot phases of the technology evaluation, and promises a very bright future for VSEP in Brazil.” said New Logic CEO Greg Johnson.
For more information about VSEP in ethanol applications, download a free whitepaper at http://www.vsep.com/ethanol.
About New Logic Research
Headquartered in Emeryville, California, New Logic Research is the leading provider of high-performance membrane separation systems used in a wide variety of applications from pure water and wastewater treatment to chemical process clarifications. Now in its 24th year, New Logic has grown to meet the needs of its ever-expanding customer base, which includes major corporations from around the world. Today, New Logic provides a breadth of products and services for pure water and wastewater treatment, industrial and chemical processing, energy, and other industries.