Emerson to automate commercial-scale renewable diesel plant | Automation.com

Emerson to automate commercial-scale renewable diesel plant

Emerson to automate commercial-scale renewable diesel plant
August 24, 2009 — Dynamic Fuels, a 50/50 venture of Tyson Foods and Syntroleum, awarded Emerson Process Management the contract to digitally automate North America’s first commercial-scale renewable diesel plant. With Emerson’s PlantWeb digital architecture, Dynamic Fuels will gain optimum control through the networking of thousands of Emerson smart devices, systems, and predictive maintenance software.

The $138 million facility in Geismar, La, which is scheduled to begin operations in early 2010, will use Syntroleum’s revolutionary biofuels manufacturing process – Bio-Synfining – with plans to convert animal fats and greases into 75 million gallons/year of ultra-clean, renewable diesel fuel. With some plant modifications, the Geismar facility can also produce renewable jet fuel.

Renewable diesel is chemically identical to petroleum-based diesel but produces lower emissions including lower nitrogen oxide, near zero sulfur, and no aromatics (which can be carcinogenic). It also has a higher combustion quality (cetane level) than petroleum-based diesel or biodiesel.

“This is not your typical biodiesel or bioethanol plant,” said Jeff Bigger, Senior VP of Business Development for Syntroleum. “Emerson has a good background in employing automation. As a hydrogenation facility, we needed that reliability and to have the close operation control, which is integral in such an environment.”

Bio-Synfining processes triglycerides and fatty acids from fats and vegetable oils with heat, hydrogen and proprietary catalysts to produce renewable diesel or jet fuel. This complex process is similar to petroleum refining.

Renewable diesel is compatible with existing fuel pipelines, storage facilities and other conventional fuel infrastructures. It can be blended with petroleum-based fuels to improve their emissions quality.

“We are pleased to team with Dynamic Fuels in delivering precise control of the extreme processes in this first commercial-scale renewable diesel plant in North America,” said Steve Sonnenberg, president of Emerson Process Management. “Pairing the expertise and resources of our companies will help ensure that this innovative plant is developed on schedule, and operates smartly with high efficiency and availability.”

PlantWeb digital plant architecture networks the DeltaV digital automation system and AMS Suite predictive maintenance software with intelligent field devices. This intelligent digital network continuously gathers diagnostics data that can be used for asset optimization, including predictive maintenance. Plant personnel will use the data to correct potential equipment and process problems before they interrupt production.

Emerson’s smart devices installed throughout the plant will include Fisher digital control valves, Micro Motion flow meters, and Rosemount temperature, pressure and level transmitters.

Emerson has provided products and services to Syntroleum since before 2000. This will be the first Emerson installation For Dynamic Fuels.

“We need to have a design that can be exported to other locations,” Bigger said. “And that’s one of the things that we get with the Emerson system. It’s scalable.”

For a brief video about alternative fuel production go to www.emersonprocess.com/videos/Experts_Industry.asp.

About Dynamic Fuels
Dynamic Fuels is a 50/50 venture between Tyson Foods, Inc., and Syntroleum Corporation to convert animal fats and greases into renewable synthetic fuels using a flexible fuel and feedstock technology Syntroleum calls Bio-Synfining. Feedstock primarily derived from animal fats, greases, and vegetable oils will be supplied by Tyson.

About Emerson Process Management
Emerson Process Management, an Emerson business, is a leader in helping businesses automate their production, processing and distribution in the chemical, oil and gas, refining, pulp and paper, power, water and wastewater treatment, mining and metals, food and beverage, life sciences and other industries. The company combines superior products and technology with industry-specific engineering, consulting, project management and maintenance services. Its brands include PlantWeb, Syncade, DeltaV, Fisher, Micro Motion, Rosemount, Daniel, Ovation, and AMS Suite.

About Emerson
Emerson (NYSE:EMR), based in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions to customers through its network power, process management, industrial automation, climate technologies, and appliance and tools businesses. Sales in fiscal 2008 were $24.8 billion and Emerson is ranked 94th on the Fortune 500 list of America’s largest companies.
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