Listen in: Ethanol producer adopts model predictive control to boost production

Optimizing platform offers process specific capabilities not available from conventional regulatory control.


Ethanol producer White Energy Inc ., has awarded a multi-site model predictive control (MPC) project to Pavilion Technologies . The project will help improve ethanol production at White Energy’s three plants in Kansas and Texas. ( Click here for a four minute interview with Michael Tay , manager of sales engineering for Pavilion.)

White Energy is the first and largest producer of ethanol in Texas and the fifth largest ethanol producer in the U.S., with plants in Russell, KS, Hereford, TX, and Plainview, TX.

“Pavilion has an impressive record and reputation for providing major and sustainable benefits to ethanol producers,” says David Diwik, president and chief executive officer of White Energy. “This project will help maximize plant performance, increase ethanol yield, and reduce energy consumption, helping us meet our goal of becoming one of the most efficient producers of ethanol in the biofuels industry.”

Pavilion’s model predictive control platform reportedly creates a comprehensive model of the production process that predicts and analyzes variable process parameters to optimize nearly every step of production, including milling/cooking, fermentation, distillation/sieving and stillage.

White Energy will also implement Pavilion’s production performance management (PPM) software at each plant and its Dallas headquarters to manage and adjust ethanol production and yield based on shifting materials, energy costs and ethanol prices.

“I’ve spent more than 15 years in ethanol plant operations and strive to get every last ounce of ethanol out of a plant and a bushel of corn,” says Ron Dunbar, vice president of operations for White Energy. “The Pavilion solution will help us do exactly that—maximize our resources while helping our plants run at top efficiency and capacity.”

Pavilion says it has installed its MPC platform in more than 30 ethanol plants. “We are very proud that White Energy has chosen Pavilion Technologies to help continually improve its long-term performance and production,” says Ralph Carter, director of Pavilion Technologies. “We look forward to delivering major results.”

—Edited by Peter Welander, process industries editor, ,
Process & Advanced Control Monthly
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