PIGNAT Bioethanol Pilot – UPB2000



Production of bio-ethanol from starch (wheat flour)

The bio-ethanol production involves three steps: liquefaction, saccharification, fermentation, and distillation. The reactors loaded with reagents are heated by means of the double envelope. The stirring systems ensure the homogeneity of the mixture and promotes heat transfer to the wall. The vapors rise in the column and then are condensed. A reflux head allows you to chose to work at a total reflux or total withdrawal. The condensate is cooled. The touch screen allows one to record pH and temperatures in order to study their influences on the processes.

This working, controlled & operated, semi-continuous process unit produces bio-ethanol, and provides for an in-depth, hands-on understanding of the basic, the practical & the theoretical crushing (grinding mill), fermentation & evaporation process.

The unit allows the student to experience and operate a continuous or a batch process like crushing, fermentation & evaporation (to concentrate the bioethanol after Fermentation) and modify the variables upon which it is based. It depicts the dynamic behavior of a production of Bioethanol as it is operated by the instructor and/or a student.

  • Bioethanol is produced from different sources: corn, sugar (cane sugar), several fruits or starch.
  • This unit in reduction is used as the primary medium, based on their well-known physical properties and safety considerations.
  • The unit can be used manually, controlled directed by the control panel, with or not a touch screen or a computer outside the area.
  • Temperatures, pressure, drop pressure & flow can be controlled & measured.
  • A variety of additional safeguards are provided to avert the possibility of unwanted ignition, or exposure to vapours. A safety valve is designed so that the unit cannot be over pressurized and to prevent unintentional vapour loss to the atmosphere. A heat protection device activaties a relay to provide an automatic temperature shut off in the event of overheating. An industrial grade control panel with emergency safety disconnects and provision for lock-out/tag-out is also provided.
  • The training aid incorporates a stainless steel fermenter with lid & trap, a glass boring distillation unit, which enhance the visual experience of the fermentation & the distillation processes under semi-continuous operation.
  • This unit could be coupled with a pervaporation unit to produce up to 95% of bioethanol.

Study of the production of bio-ethanol with three steps:

  • Pretreatment:
    • Reduction 30min
    • Liquefaction: reduction dextrins 1h
    • Saccharification: production of glucose and maltose 2h
  • Fermentation: 24h treatment
  • Distillation: separation of bioethanol

Proposed experiments:

  • Primary operation and experiment outline:
  • Review of a fermentation & regeneration process P&ID
  • Exploration of system and components * System preparation *
  • Operation of an industrial process
  • Effect of the time of fermentation
  • Influence of some catalysers
  • Effect of the temperature of fermentation
  • Effect of the temperature of the heating in the distillation unit
  • Column efficiency (using Mac Cabe & Thiele, Fenske’s Law, Ponchon-Savarit method).
  • Reflux ratio influence.
  • Re-boiling ratio determination.
  • Determination of total mass balance.
  • Determination of thermal balances.
  • Cleaning and stopping operations
  • Operate a controlled distillation process.
  • Determine over flooding conditions.
  • Influence of operating parameters.
  • Feed rate, preheating temperature, reflux ratio, column pressure drop.
  • Operate a continuous process.

General Specifications


  • SS reactor,50 L double jacket.
  • Stirring motor.
  • Pneumatic pump.
  • Heating circuit.


  • SS fermentation reactor, 50 L.
  • Stirring motor.
  • Pneumatic pump.
  • Dosing pump, PVC head.
  • Heating circuit.


  • SS boiler truncated, 30 L, double jacket.
  • Stirring motor.
  • Glass column, plate
  • Exchanger.
  • SS condenser, with glass sight.


  • 5 flowmeters.
  • 5 manometers.
  • pH electrode.
  • 6 temperature probes Pt100Ω.

For a complete product data sheet and a list of reference sites please call 1-877-967-2726.