A global biotechnology company who is a leader in the supply of animal feed supplements, contracted Vogelbusch USA to assist them with building a facility to treat an ethanol/water stream remaining from brewery yeast recovery. The package supplied by Vogelbusch USA was designed as a two-stage process that consists of a two-column distillation, which produces an ethanol/water vapor that is then dried in a molecular sieve unit.
We announce the retirement of our longtime President, Gunter Brodl. Gunter has been with Vogelbusch for 37 years, 25 years as President of Vogelbusch USA.
Gunter Brodl has been involved in the ethanol industry for 50 years and came to live in the U.S. when the ethanol industry was in its infancy. He was instrumental in getting some of the first fuel ethanol plants operational 35 years ago and helped introduce the Vogelbusch “Multicont” continuous fermentation process as a state-of-the-art technology for ethanol fermentations. Since then, Gunter has played a major role in developing and improving grain-to-ethanol technologies and has been an innovator for the energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly designs for which Vogelbusch is known.
Gunter established Vogelbusch USA over 25 years ago and under his dedicated leadership grew the company into one of the premier suppliers of process engineering packages for the fuel ethanol industry. Today, Vogelbusch-designed facilities in North America produce over 1.5 billion gallons of ethanol annually.
Gunter will continue as a member of the Vogelbusch USA Board of Directors and will serve as an advisor and consultant to the company.
We are pleased to announce that Anthony Varnas has been named as Gunter’s successor. Tony has been with Vogelbusch USA for over 20 years, most recently as Vice President of Engineering.
The Abengoa Bioenergy Biomass of Kansas (ABBK) commercial-scale, cellulosic ethanol facility is in the final stages of commissioning and is scheduled to be fully operational later this fall. The state-of-the-art plant will utilize Spain-based Abengoa Bioenergy’s own proprietary, enzymatic hydrolysistechnology to produce 25 million gallons of ethanol and 21 megawatts of electricity from 300,000 tons of biomass per year.
Vogelbusch USA provided process design for the distillation and molecular sieve dehydration areas and also supplied critical equipment for the molecular sieve unit. In advance of the startup, Vogelbusch USA personnel are currently participating in commissioning activities for both areas and will be on-site to assist with the startup.
The project uses INEOS Bio’s feedstock-flexible BioEnergy technology, a unique combination of gasification and fermentation technologies, to turn different types of waste materials, including municipal solid waste, into advanced biofuels and renewable power. At capacity, the facility will manufacture 8 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol under the new Renewable Fuel Standard and provide power for 1400 homes in the area.
“We chose Vogelbusch’s distillation and dehydration systems for their proven capabilities, which are vital as we commercialize our advanced bioenergy technology,” said Mark Niederschulte, COO of INEOS Bio.
The facility began producing renewable power for export to the local community in October and is the first large-scale project in the United States to receive registrations from the EPA for a facility using non-food vegetative waste materials (vegetative and yard waste) to produce cellulosic ethanol. INEOS Bio has plans to run municipal solid waste at the Center after the initial start-up.
In February, Cosmo Oil successfully started up its ETBE production unit at its Sakai Refinery in Japan. Japan's oil industry prefers ETBE, made from ethanol and isobutylene, over pure ethanol as a fuel oxygenate, because it does not require distribution network modifications.
Very dry ethanol (maximum 300 ppm water) is required for the ETBE process. Vogelbusch USA supplied technology, critical equipment, and startup assistance for the 52,000,000 LPY ethanol dehydration system.