Made for Africa

Robust ethanol production equipment for remote farmers

Made for AfricaSmall scale ethanol production in remote areas has become possible with the development of a robust, easily maintained modular alcohol distillation unit.
The Taurus 480 is a compact, self contained, continuous column alcohol distillation unit specifically designed to be operated at the source of raw material, reducing transport costs dramatically. {mosimage}{mosimage}Small scale ethanol production in remote areas has become possible with the development of a robust, easily maintained modular alcohol distillation unit.
The Taurus 480 is a compact, self contained, continuous column alcohol distillation unit specifically designed to be operated at the source of raw material, reducing transport costs dramatically.
It can be used as a stand-alone distiller capable of processing 2,000litre of fermented feed per hour into industrial or potable alcohol, or as a satellite plant in a large scale or communal bio-fuel project. It is also suited to the production of ethanol gel, which is gaining popularity as a safe alternative to paraffin as low cost fuel.
Suitable raw material includes sugar cane, sugar beet, molasses, maize, sweet sorghum, cassava, fruit and distilling wine.
The unit was developed by South African Buks Venter and will be manufactured by food industry processing machinery supplier HG Molenaar.
Venter says the Taurus was developed to cope with rural realities. It is built inside a shipping container which eases transport to remote location, and once on site, can be erected immediately and securely without a site construction team. The unit is primarily constructed of stainless steel and is manually controlled (but can be converted to full automation if required). Being “housed “ also makes it theft and tamper proof.
The unit consists of an 8m high stripping and rectfication column with tubular heat exhangers to distil fermented feed. Also inside the 12mx2,3mx2,3m container is a service  staircase and exterior fire escape ladder, an extractor fan, flame proof lighting, centrifugal pumps, electronic temperature registration and a cleaning tank.
Annual production (of 11 months contiuous operation) from an 8% alcohol volume feed is 1,4m litres of 90% alc/vol or 1,26m absolute alcohol. Raw material equivalents are 3,640t maize, 28,000t sugar cane, 28,000t declassified fruit or 15,7m litre distilling wine.
The distillation equipment costs R1,5m. The price of a complete turnkey operation is about R6m, depending on the raw material to be processed.
A prototype built in October 2005 has created much interest in SA and its neighbouring states. Mozambique Bio-Fuel Industries
for instance, is considering the Taurus 480 for a large cassava bio-ethanal project at Nacala in the
Nampula Province, says Venter.
Venter: Tel +27-21 872 4301; cell +27-72-216 3921; info@taurusdistillation.co.za