Permolex – Red Deer Ethanol Facility Upgrades

Gas Liquids Engineering Ltd. (GLE) is the engineering services provider for a 125000 L/day ethanol plant upgrade at the Permolex ethanol production facility in Red Deer, Alberta.

Permolex grain fractionation facility includes flour, gluten, and ethanol production facilities. The ethanol production facilities have historically produced a fuel grade ethanol, however Permolex wished to make the necessary upgrades to produce USP grade. In order to capitalize on the rapidly growing hand-sanitizer market, GLE was brought on to carry out the upgrades as quickly as possible. Reaching USP grade involves the removal of a variety of typical ethanol contaminants, and after review of the existing system and stream composition, a fermentation process optimization was first carried out by Permolex in order to make the stream more amenable to reaching USP with a minimal equipment installation. Based on those improvements, GLE then carried out the process design on the required system upgrades. The upgrades required an additional light component (acetaldehyde) removal column, and a second fusels removal column. Due to the increased steam requirements of reaching USP grade, low pressure steam system upgrades were also required including new boilers. A surplus stainless steel tower is currently being modified and retrayed as the fusels removal column, and a new tower was sourced for the acetaldehyde removal tower. The towers, reboilers, and exchangers are currently in fabrication in Alberta, with the trays being supplied by a US fabricator, and the steam boilers being provided by a local Canadian supplier.

Facility Upgrades Include:

  • Acetaldehyde Removal Column (New) – 4’ x 132’ Long
  • Fusel Removal Column (Retrofit) – 6’ x 68’ Long
  • Steam Reboilers
  • Three (3) Miura LX300 Boilers
  • Two (2) Reflux Drums
    • 3’ Dia x 9’ Stainless Steel
    • 4’ Dia x 10’ Stainless Steel
  • Other Exchangers
  • Piping Replacement
  • USP Product Storage
  • USP Denaturant Injection