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Advanced Process Controls

ICM’s APC significantly lowers variability which stabilizes operations. It will increase yield, reduce energy consumption, enable higher production, and reduce emissions. The PID controls in the DCS are single input and single output. They are reactive, and are always behind which results in high variability. Our APC system is a Multi-variable, Model-Based Predictive Control (MPC) system; all process variables in a unit operation are seen at once, and the model predicts and makes adjustments to mitigate a disturbance as soon as it occurs so it does not get behind. The system provides the following benefits:

Slurry and Water Balance
APC improves hammermill control to stabilize slurry solids. Better control allows moving operations closer to mill amp limits to increase production when margins are good. Better control enables more precise ratio control of AA enzyme to improve starch conversion.  Water usage and backset are reduced. Better control of the front end provides consistent feed to fermentation to improve yield.

APC improves fermenter temperature control, especially in hot weather. By modeling fermentation progress APC improves GA enzyme addition rate and dextrose concentration. The result is improved yield.

Distillation and Sieves
The APC system stabilizes beer and rectifier column temperatures and rectifier reflux flow which significantly reduces energy usage. Ethanol loss in the beer and rectifier bottoms is minimized. This more stable distillation operation provides consistent feed to the molecular sieves. APC optimizes the sieve bottle pressure to increase moisture extraction efficiency and reduce energy usage.

Advanced Process Controls Diagram

Thermal Oxidizer
The APC system minimizes excess oxygen and reduces furnace temperature while maintaining excellent VOC destruction and steam header pressure, as well as maintains consistent emissions compliance.

Better control by APC enables operating very close to the moisture limit to increase profits and improve co-product quality.  Reduced variability reduces energy usage.


Advanced Process Controls Figure 1
Advanced Process Controls Figure 2 

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