Front End Milling & Pretreatment Redesign

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Project Details

Complete process, mechanical, and structural redesign of the corn milling and pre-treatment systems for an ethanol biorefinery to improve efficiencies and reduce infection

Location: Undisclosed
Project Duration: 3.5 Months


Below are some of the services we provided for this project:

  • Safety & Compliance
  • Drafting & 3D Modeling
  • Engineering Design

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Front End Redesign

    Plagued with infections, an operating ethanol biorefinery turned to Nelson Baker for process, mechanical, and structural engineering for the redesign of their corn milling, slurry, and pretreatment processes. Nelson Baker designed a customized system for ease of install and access specifically within the existing building. Hammermills and conveyors, along with multiple slurry tanks and liquefaction tanks, strainers, mixers and a clean-in-place (CIP) system were all incorporated into this scope of work. Not only did the design increase the front end system’s capacity, but we were also able to increase the number of operating days per year by minimizing the opportunities for infection in the mechanical design. Nelson Baker Biotech incorporates these types of upgrades to your facility’s bottom line by designing and incorporating a smart, front end pretreatment design.


Project Challenges & Nelson Baker’s Solutions

    Every corn ethanol plant has milling, slurry and liquefaction processing. Due to physical constraints at the customer’s facility, redesigns needed to utilize much of the same space as the existing front end process. Process Engineer, Taylor Bovè, commented that in order to minimize the installation’s impact on operations during this project, Nelson Baker detailed new models to optimize layouts and tie-ins given the challenges of the physical space and ongoing operations. In addition, with such specific layouts, the Nelson Baker team learned new ways to vent the machinery in a safe manner. “We enjoy customizing a different way to layout the process and want to collaborate with others to design their own customized layout as well,” stated Kevin Krehbiel, Mechanical Engineer.