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System 800xA in unique ethanol production process at NBE Sweden

Precision must be high in order to optimize the production, and this is where ABB’s control system 800xA enters the picture.

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NBE Sweden is making use of the resources of the wood in its unique production of industrial ethanol. The new plant is both economical and resource efficient.

Develop the global bioenergy combine of the future

Lignin, the residual product that remains when ethanol is produced from cellulose, is an excellent fuel that can be used in briquettes. For this reason, NBE has placed their ethanol production plant next to a biofuel factory which produces pellets and briquettes from wood and peat for heating plants and industry. This si both economical and resource efficient. 

Apart from the ethanol plant and briquette factory, a combined heat and power station will be included in the combine. The fuel produced by the combine generates power and heat for the plant, district heat for Sveg’s inhabitants and electricity for the national grid. To make maximum use of the energy output, greenhouses will also to be built to make use of every bit of waste heat – fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices or flowers will be cultivated on the 50,000 square meter area of greenhouses.

​The biogas will be produced from the distillery residues, which is refined to give vehicle fuel. In this way, the bioenergy combine can make use of an extremely large proportion of the raw material’s theoretical energy content, at the same time as the bioenergy solution can easily justify its place in a recycling society. 

Main facts

Industry Chemical product manufacturing
Customer NBE
Country Sweden
Solutions
  • System 800xA
  • AC 800M controller
  • Profibus fieldbus communication
  • Plant construction, fieldbus design and plant documentation
  • Function commitment DCS from definition to commissioning and completed plant

Lars Fritz, MD, NBE Sweden: “The collaboration with ABB has been fruitful and straightforward.”

“Our development work includes assessing what the 800xA control system can contribute in preparation for the construction of the full-scale ethanol plant.”

The hydrolysis tank with ABB’s control system 800xA is the heart of the pilot plant.

ABB's 800xA for highest precision during production

The heart of the pilot plant is the hydrolysis vessel, where the cellulose is split into sugars. The parameters that affect the process are not difficult to understand; time, temperature, pressure and pH value are controlling factors. However, precision must be high in order to optimise splitting, and this is where ABB’s control system 800xA enters the picture. 

“The control system is extremely important,” says Lars Fritz, MD for NBE Sweden and the architect behind the pilot plant. “One of the strengths of the 800xA system is that a lot of data can be extracted to control the process.” 

“Since our technology, which is based on batch-wise treatment of the raw material, is untested at the industrial scale, we are working intensively with the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University. There is constant feedback to fine tune the recipe. We still haven’t learnt how to take full advantage of all of the control system’s possibilities, but we will.”
Lars Fritz - MD NBE Sweden
“One of the strengths of the 800xA system is that a lot of data can be extracted to control the process.”

New control technology in unique project

ABB was involved early on with the setting up of the pilot plant. “Even if we have sold thousands of examples of the 800xA control system, each project is unique,” says Ronny Athle, Project Manager at ABB. In this particular case, it has been great fun to be involved and to design a technology which has thus far been untested.” Lars Fritz places great value on ABB’s commitment. 

“During the project planning phase, we received a great deal of professional advice from ABB, primarily via Jörgen Karlsson who was a member of our Project Group. There is, as you know, an enormous amount of expertise in the ABB Group. Another reason for us choosing ABB was the fact that they could deliver a complete control system, including software. This removes many problems.” 

“Of course I am pleased with ABB’s input. If I were to start again from the beginning, I would absolutely ring the number for ABB and Jörgen Karlsson again!”
Lars Fritz - MD NBE Sweden
"In this particular case, it has been great fun to be involved and to design a technology which has thus far been untested."

“There is, as you know, an enormous amount of expertise in the ABB Group. Another reason for us choosing ABB was the fact that they could deliver a complete control system, including software. This removes many problems.”

Lars Fritz, MD, NBE Sweden
NBE Sweden

NBE Sweden AB was founded in 2006 and is owned by the Chinese energy companies National Bio Energy Co Ltd and Dragon Power Co Ltd, together with Härjedalens Miljöbränsle AB and Härjedalen Municipality.

The next step is to build a full-scale energy combine.

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