Emerson brings savings to Turkish biofuel plant

May 14, 2008

Austin, Texas - Emerson Process Management has announced start-up and operational gains following completion of the second year of operation of its PlantWeb digital automation architecture at a new bioethanol production plant operated by TARKİM in Mustafakemalpaşa-Bursa, Turkey. 

Bioethanol is the world’s largest source of renewable energy, and its use has the added advantage that crops used for feedstock help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by absorbing CO2 emissions during crop growth. The new plant processes grain, usually corn and wheat, to produce ethanol to be used as a fuel additive. Rapid start-up of the plant was critical, and the contribution made by Emerson during the start-up phase meant that TARKİM was able to start up one month earlier than scheduled. This provided cost savings of €220,000 and helped book early revenues.

The plant has been operating for over two years and during that time, there have been no off-specification product or quality concessions made. During this operational period, the reliability of the plant has been outstanding, with only two or three unexpected shutdowns. The PlantWeb architecture has contributed to a 28% increase in production at the plant from the planned level.

The control system at the new bioethanol plant is based on Emerson’s PlantWeb digital plant architecture. This includes a DeltaV digital automation system communicating with 381 field instruments, 108 control valves and 124 on/off valves using HART communications protocol. There are over 1200 input/output points. Emerson also supplied redundant controllers and power supplies.

Emerson field devices include intelligent Rosemount pressure and temperature transmitters, Fisher control valves, and Fisher FIELDVUE digital valve controllers.  Micro Motion intelligent Coriolis flowmeters are used to measure slurry and syrup flow at the plant and Emerson’s AMS Suite: Intelligent Device Manager software was also included on the project.

Operating in a highly competitive global market, accurate process control is very important for TARKİM, as this directly effects productivity and consequently control of the unit price. “Emerson’s PlantWeb digital architecture has made a big contribution to minimizing production losses,” said Levent Kalin, TARKİM factory manager. “There are literally hundreds of limits for parameters which are set by the DeltaV digital system. These are checked regularly, and alerts generated for any that are outside limits. When there is a problem, a fast solution gains us time for production. Consequently, our unit costs are approximately 10% lower than we expected.”

The ethanol production process consists of several operations performed in series. Consequently, downtime at any unit impacts on the output from the others. With unscheduled downtime being a critical factor, AMS Device Manager is used to help identify potential problems before they develop into events that could close the line.

“We were pioneers when we entered this sector,” said Ahmet Tüzün, TARKİM general manager. “Our global aim is to become an expert and pioneer company not only in bioethanol, but widely in the biofuel sector; to keep our existing position and to expand the sectors we serve not only in Turkey but also in other geographical territories. Based on the success of this project, we would want Emerson to continue as our partners.”