398666 Using Experimental Data to Model Small-Scale Batch Stills for the Purpose of Scaling-up the Column

Monday, November 17, 2014
Galleria Exhibit Hall (Hilton Atlanta)
Matthew Hancock, University of Kentucky - Paducah, West Paducah, KY

Alcohol is produced by distilling a fermented corn mash made up of corn, sugar, and yeast. A batch still is used with varying column diameters, stages, and heights to produce high quality ethanol, in excess of 95% by volume. Craft distillation businesses are known to build small-scale, hobby stills capable of producing this high percentage alcohol, but at a low product flow rate. The purpose of this research is to scale-up these hobby stills to produce alcohol at a higher production rate. Experimental data obtained through the use of LabVIEW software such as temperature, pressure, and reflux flow rates along with still geometry measurements are used to accurately model the still in order to scale-up the column. In addition, an alternate method of heating the corn mash was examined. Through intensive heat-transfer calculations, steam coil geometric measurements were appropriately designed to heat up a known amount of corn mash as well as give the specifications of steam needed through the steam generator.

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