Ethanol Production

Grain Storage
Application: Corn is delivered by trucks or rail to the plant where it is analyzed, unloaded and pre-cleaned prior to conveying into large storage silos generally designed to supply the plant for seven to ten days.

Challenges: The large size of the silos makes it problematic for conventional single-point instrumentation to yield accurate measurement of the volume of stored material. Plus, corn storage silos may have multiple fill or discharge points creating uneven topography, which could deem a single measurement point unreliable. It is essential to know the silo contents in order to closely monitor inventory levels, replenish optimally, and ensure an ongoing production process. The BinMaster 3DLevelScanner system for large silos overcomes this problem. Accurately measuring the amount of grain in the silos in real-time is important, giving plant managers an understanding of how much grain was used in the manufacturing of ethanol, allowing them to better calculate the cost of goods sold and the profitability of the plant.

Dried Distiller’s Grains
Application: Wet distiller’s grains are often sent through a drying system to remove moisture and extend shelf life. The resulting DDGS (dried distillers grain with solubles) is commonly used as a high-protein ingredient in cattle, swine, poultry and fish diets. DDGS is removed from the production process by conveyor to an adjacent dedicated DDGS storage silo or warehouse.

Challenges: The DDGS is stored in very large silos, warehouses, or open bins. The material (containing about 10% fat and corn oil) is sticky and can settle irregularly in the silo. The uneven topography presents a real problem for end users trying to assess inventory levels. BinMaster’s 3DLevelScanner system solves this problem by measuring multiple points and providing a very accurate volume reading and optional visual profile of the material in the silo, warehouse, or open bin.