US ethanol producer to adopt Whitefox ICE-XL technology in carbon neutral quest

Western Plains Energy will be the first US ethanol producer to install a Whitefox ICE-XL system at its 50 million gallons per year ethanol plant in Kansas.

The company will replace molecular sieves with fully integrated membrane separation solutions in a quest to become the first zero emissions ethanol producer.

Whitefox Technologies’ Integrated Cartridge Efficiency (ICE) uses membrane-based cartridge technology which enables clients to produce ethanol and other chemicals. Whitefox ICE-XL is an evolution of the Whitefox ICE which the company has already installed in nine US ethanol plants.

“ICE-XL fully replaces existing molecular sieves and delivers exceptional operational benefits such as up to 50% capacity increase across distillation and dehydration and 50% steam reduction when fully integrated,” said Tony Short, head of global sales at Whitefox Technologies.

Derek Peine, CEO at Western Plains Energy, said: “In our discussion with Whitefox we found that its ICE-XL integrated membrane solution would serve as a cornerstone in fully decarbonizing our production process. Our quest to achieve net-zero emissions is something that we are passionate about, and we are excited to partner with Whitefox to help us achieve our goal.”

“I first met Derek in 2016 and it was inspiring to hear how focussed he was on reducing the carbon footprint of ethanol production," said Gillian Harrison, CEO of Whitefox Technologies. "We began discussing how we could expand the Whitefox ICE solution to a full replacement of molecular sieves, given their propensity to crack, so it's exciting to now be working with Western Plains to install our first ICE-XL and support them on their journey to Net Zero ethanol.”

Engineering of phase 1 is already in progress and the project has an estimated start-up and commissioning date towards the end of 2023.