Biogas plants
at ethanol distilleries

Biogas plants at ethanol distilleries

Distilleries produce distillery wastewater. Both stillage, vinasse or pulp are valuable raw materials for biogas and power production.


Biogas vs dry food

Alcohol and ethanol distilleries operate on grain, molasses, sugar cane juice, beet juice or cactus juice, fruits, potato. At grain distilleries, stillage is disposed-off in one of the three ways: discharge onto filtration fields, dry distillery grain production (DDGS), and biogas production.

Discharge onto filtration fields according to environmental standards is becoming an increasing problem for the local community and the enterprise itself. This method of disposal is discarded in favor of the other two.

In the case of DDGS, the distillery incurs additional energy costs for evaporation. The final product – DDGS competes in the market with grain and is often sold at a loss. Biogas plant not only gives biogas to replace the natural gas, but also eliminates the consumption for evaporation

Processing of distillery stillage into biogas allows a company to eliminate 100% of its natural gas or bunker oil use. Thus, it is possible to reduce the cost of alcohol. Biogas can be used directly in the same boilers in the mix with natural gas or alone.

The best technology for stillage is vertical reactor technology for 3 reasons

The vertical reactor has optimal mass and heat transfer and consumes less energy for own needs

One large vertical reactor costs less than several small CSTRs

Distilleries are often located in urban areas and are limited in space and the vertical reactor requires it less

Optimization of production costs

Zorg Biogas has experience at the ethanol distillery in Hincesti, Moldova, since 2013. The biogas plant was originally designed to work with grain stillage. But in fact, it works on grain one season and on the molasses the other.

The distillery in Hincesti changed burners in the existing boilers to work on the mix of natural gas and biogas but later completely refused from natural gas.

The CSTR biogas plant works well but it was built before we gained the experience with the vertical technology. The new biogas plants for distilleries we would make vertical CSTR like we do for sugar mills. For sugar mills we also started with CSTR but than switched to vCSTR.

Biogas plant in Hincesti

When operating a biogas plant, it is necessary to take into account the insufficient content of micronutrients to support the bacterial growth. Therefore, the addition special chemical additives is required. But amount of these micronutrients is not that much though. 1 l additive per 300 tonnes of stillage average

Unlike grain stillage, molasses vinasse is not suitable for production of DDGS. Therefore, biogas plants for molasses distilleries are generally the only possible solution. The same is applied to the vinasse from sugar cane, vinasse from nopal, cactus, agave, beet juice, effluent from ethanol plants with straw as a substrate.

To calculate a quotation for a biogas plant, please fill out the questionnaire for distilleries.

Zorg Biogas’s plants for this industry







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