Ethanol Production in the U.S.
The United States is the world’s largest producer of ethanol. Ethanol production has slowly increased since 2008, largely due to the fuel blending requirements of the Renewable Fuel Standard Program. U.S. fuel ethanol production is concentrated in the Midwest states and accounts for 95% of ethanol production. In 2021, U.S. fuel ethanol production equaled about 15 billion gallons.
Increase in Demand for Ethanol Production
Since 2007, ethanol production has continued to be on the rise as more ethanol-producing facilities have been built across America. Your CEMS equipment should already have a preventative maintenance plan in place to ensure all your CEM system components are working properly, whether this is done monthly, quarterly, or annually. There are many federal, state, and local environmental requirements that apply to ethanol production facilities. It’s important to ensure environmental compliance is held as ethanol production continues to increase as well as the number of ethanol-producing facilities.
Keeping Up with Part 60 & Part 63 Regulations to Maintain Compliance
The primary sources of air emissions from ethanol plants include the grain handling units, boilers, dried distillers’ grain with solubles dryers, fermentation, and distillation units. Other typical emissions points at a dry mill ethanol plant include:
- Cooling cyclones
- Ethanol load-out systems
- Cooling towers
- Storage tanks
- Centrate tanks
- Wastewater treatment processes
- Emergency equipment such as backup generators
- Fugitive emissions, such as those that come from equipment leaks and haul roads
New Source Performance Standards contain emission limits, control device or equipment requirements, and work practice, performance testing, monitoring, recordkeeping, notification, and reporting requirements. These regulations can be found in 40 CFR Part 60.
NSPS establishes technology-based standards that regulate criteria air pollutants from new or modified sources. These standards typically apply to ethanol plants. The New Source Performance Standard requirements may have influence over the equipment and control devices that will be installed. That is why it’s important to maintain your CEMS equipment to ensure your ethanol plant is following compliance. Be aware of these rules as you make modifications to your plant’s equipment.
Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards contain emission limits, control device or equipment requirements, and work practice, performance testing, monitoring, recordkeeping, notification, and reporting requirements. MACT standards can be found in 40 CFR Part 63.
CEMS Equipment for Your Ethanol Facility
With an increasing demand for ethanol, facilities cannot afford a failure in CEMS equipment subjected to audits or fines. Know when it’s time to replace or repair CEM system parts. Emission monitoring parts include components such as probes, umbilicals, sample conditioners, and analyzers. Each of these CEM parts typically lasts between 10 – 15 years, while probes can last upwards of 15 – 20 years. With ethanol production increasing since 2008, your facility might not have replaced or repaired your CEMS parts since, and it could be time.
ESC Spectrum Can Help Your Ethanol Facility
With a focus on air emission monitoring, ESC Spectrum can help keep ethanol plants on the correct side of regulators and help optimize the operation of your facility’s CEMS equipment. 40 CFR Part 60 includes regulations about new source performance standards and is always under review to reflect updating technology and changing attitudes to possible pollutants. Our recent acquisition of Monitoring Solutions allows us to expand our products and capabilities to focus on 40 CFR Part 60 and help ethanol facilities run smoothly.
Implement a Data Acquisition System
We also now offer a Data Acquisition System applicable to Part 60 Ethanol facilities called CEMDAS Evolution. Your facility might be facing demands for cost savings and efficiency, often with a shrinking staff. Implementing a DAS at your ethanol facility can help ease the strain of maintaining your equipment while staying in compliance with the rules listed above.