IBT Industrial Maintenance Technologies Assists Biodiesel Plant

IBT Industrial Maintenance Technologies Assists Biodiesel Plant

For more than twenty years, IBT Industrial Maintenance Technologies has provided predictive maintenance services to a Cargill Oilseed plant in Kansas City’s East Bottoms.

The plant, which includes new facilities capable of processing up to 165,000 bushels of soybeans per day, provides soybean oil for an adjacent new Cargill facility that produces biodiesel and food-grade glycerin.

The new biodiesel and glycerin plant is also an IMT project. When it went into production in April 2008, IMT spent several days laser aligning pumps and providing mechanical consulting service. They have more than 50 pumps in the bio plant alone.

Using soybean oil as its primary feedstock, the facility has production capacity of 40 million gallons of biodiesel and 30 million pounds of food-grade glycerin annually. The plant was built by Cargill and the Missouri Soybean Association (MSA). More than 50 percent of Missouri soybean farmers use biodiesel in their operations, and many major transportation fleets use it commercially.

This plant was designed to meet the requirements for BQ-9000 Accredited Producer certification, the highest-level quality standard. The facility uses soybean oil as the primary feedstock. The glycerin refinery would produce USP-grade 99.7% purity, kosher-certified glycerin.

Biodiesel is America’s fastest growing alternative fuel, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. It is a cleaner-burning fuel that can be used in any diesel engine in pure form or blended with petroleum diesel. Biodiesel is made primarily with soybean oil. It reduces emissions while offering similar performance to petroleum diesel. Biodiesel has the highest energy balance of any liquid fuel. For every unit of energy used to make biodiesel, 3.2 units are gained.

Since the Renewable Fuels Standard was added to the Energy Bill in 2005, construction of biodiesel plants across the nation has expanded significantly. The RFS standard requires that by 2012 there will be 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuels in the nation’s supply, reducing U.S. dependence on foreign markets.

IMT services are helping this leading-edge facility keep operating with high productivity. “But,” says IMT head Chris Treat, “any plant with pumps, rotating or highly-stressed mechanical equipment can benefit from IMT.

“We have diagnostic tools for analyzing machine dynamics and performance. These tools can also identify misalignments and imbalances and find vibration problems that lead to excess wear and tear. Our technicians can also diagnose mechanical and electrical problems which may affect the condition and performance of bearings, belts, pulleys, shafts, pumps, gearboxes, fans, motors, cooling towers and chillers – a whole factory’s worth of mechanical components.”

For more information, contact IMT.


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