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TRUMBULL - Illinois has long been known as the “Land of Lincoln” but, in more recent years, it has been called the “Land of Ethanol Plants.” There are over forty ethanol plants that call Illinois home and most of them have been constructed during the past decade.
One reason for this high installation base is Illinois’ plethora of corn.
“Agriculture is Illinois’ largest industry, contributing billions of dollars to the state's economy each year. And corn is the largest contributor, providing food, feed and fuel for generations. Illinois corn farmers help urban and rural areas, providing the foundation for the processing, manufacturing, export and livestock sectors of our economy.” Ilcorn.org
Many steps are required to obtain ethanol from corn. Vacuum can be used in several of these stages, but liquid ring vacuum pumps are most often installed in the evaporation process. Nash has a large installed base of stainless steel SC6 pumps in Illinois’ ethanol plants.
A liquid ring vacuum pump is the best choice for pulling vacuum on the evaporator because of the high vacuum and the ability to easily handle process upsets. Nash conical pumps are preferred over our competitors’ because the cone allows condensing of the saturated air on the inlet.
Evaporators in this process can be temperamental. Liquids and solids can be sucked into the inlet of the pump during process upsets, which can clog the discharge and cause a pressure spike. Although liquid ring pumps are the best technology for this application’s vacuum needs, these pumps do occasionally “crash” (a crash is defined as a catastrophic failure).
Most plants either have a spare Nash pump, or they call our distribution center. The St. Louis Service Center and Distribution Center is on call 7 days a week to handle these catastrophic failures. All Nash Service Centers can offer a quick repair or a remanufactured unit, subject to availability.
Marquis Energy is a 110 million gallon ethanol plant in Illinois. They opened their doors in 2006 and they are now in the process of expanding to twice their original capacity. They, along with a few other plants in Illinois, share spare parts for their facilities. One of the shared spares is the NASH SC6 316SS vacuum pump. Marquis will only use the Nash Service Centers and insists that the plants who share the spare parts only use Nash as well. This is just one more example of Nash quality at work.
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