HO PROTO 2000® SW9/1200 PLANT SWITCHERS
Sound & DCC 920-41400 North American Ethanol - NAEX #10 920-41401 North American Ethanol - NAEX #21
Standard DC 920-48400 North American Ethanol - NAEX #11 920-48401 North American Ethanol - NAEX #20
MODERN GRAIN SERIES KITS
Almost anywhere you find ethanol plants being built, you'll find modern elevator facilities in nearby communities to receive, dry, store and ship corn by rail to distant markets. Walthers Modern Grain Series includes all of the kits you need to add these realistic details to your
contemporary railroad, including:
Since the 1970s ethanol has been used to reduce auto emissions and dependence on imported oil. Today, about 70% of all gasoline sold in the US contains some ethanol, mostly in a 10% blend. With over six million flexible fuel vehicles on the highways, E85 (85% ethanol-15% gasoline) is becoming widely available too.
Ethanol is big business for railroads, handling inbound and outbound traffic. Although raw materials can come from sugar cane, municipal solid waste, wood, kudzu and various grains, about 70% of new plants use corn or other materials in combination with corn.
The process begins with delivery of corn from rural elevators. A 100 million gallon per year ethanol plant gets about 17 cars of corn per day, the rest arrives by truck from local producers. Inside the unloading shed corn is dumped into below-ground bins, then routed through augers and a conveyor leg to storage silos. Many plants keep a 10-day supply of corn on hand.
A smaller grain conveyor moves corn into the processing center where it's ground and mixed with water to make mash. Enzymes are added to convert the starch to simple sugars. Ammonia is added to control acidity and to feed the yeast in fermentation. The mash is cooked to reduce bacteria levels. After cooling, it's piped to fermentation tanks where yeast is added.
After 40 to 50 hours, the yeast converts sugars to ethanol and carbon dioxide. The mixture of alcohol and solids, now called beer (but not the kind you drink!) is piped to distillation towers. Here, ethanol is concentrated to 190 proof (95 percent by volume) and solids, called stillage, are removed for processing. Further dehydration in molecular sieve tanks yields 200 proof ethanol.
Ethanol is then piped to storage tanks. On the way, 5% gasoline is added to make it unfit for human consumption. At this point, it's ready to ship in tank cars.
Stillage, the left over corn solids minus the starch, is processed into distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), a protein-rich byproduct used in animal feed. In the energy center DDGS is dried and pelletized. Augers and conveyors move the pellets into the DDGS storage shed for loading in covered hoppers. A 100 million gallon per year plant ships 10 cars of ethanol and nine hoppers of DDGS pellets daily.
The diagram above shows the relative location of each building - and how a typcial plant can be added to your HO layout.
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