Alcohol producer upgrades to Coriolis flowmeters

Caviro Distillerie opts for high-precision metering strategy in its denatured alcohol unit for custody transfer and excise duty calculations.


Coriolis flowmeters at CaviroCaviro Distillerie S.r.l., a leading Italian agro-industrial group, has installed a group of Emerson’s Micro Motion Coriolis mass flowmeters at its plant in Faenza, Italy. The installation is part of a project to upgrade the control and supervisory system at the plant, which produces wine and denatured alcohol, and also processes the by-products into agricultural chemicals. The Coriolis meters meet the company’s need for highly-accurate measurement devices that are accepted by regulatory authorities for fiscal metering of alcohol products.



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Most of the processes at the Faenza plant are continuous and operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. One exception is the denaturation unit, which manufactures product in batches. The process adds various chemicals to ethanol to make it suitable for further processing and also make it unfit for human consumption. The new mass flowmeters accurately measure the alcohol and precise mix of denaturation additives as they are discharged into a road tanker parked in the loading bay. The chemicals then mix within the tanker to produce the denatured alcohol.

Alcohol that has not been denatured is subject to excise duty and therefore the denaturing process is closely monitored by the company’s finance office to ensure that the excise duty is removed from that portion of the plant's output. Precision flowmeters are required to provide the extremely accurate measurements that the finance office needs to satisfy the revenue authorities.

“In order to obtain a precise measurement of the alcohol and the dosage of the various additives, we searched the market for mass flowmeters that were capable of guaranteeing an optimum level of precision and operation reproducibility,” says Gabriele Bassi, who is responsible for the instrument engineering department at Caviro.

“We needed to ensure the meters were accurate enough to satisfy the fiscal authorities,” explains Alessandro Catani, Caviro Distillerie S.r.l. utilities manager. “We compared the specifications and performance of various devices that are available and specified Micro Motion Coriolis flowmeters for this demanding application.”

The plant upgrade project was based on Emerson’s PlantWeb digital plant architecture, which included a DeltaV digital automation system, AMS Suite predictive maintenance software, and intelligent field devices including the Micro Motion Coriolis meters, Rosemount pressure and temperature transmitters, and Fisher control valves.

Edited by Peter Welander,
Control Engineering

Visit the Control Engineering Process Control Channel.

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