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The Profitability Impact of a Qualified and Trained Analytical Lab Staff Sabrina Trupia, Ph.D. and Jessica M. Sido NCERC.

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Presentation on theme: "The Profitability Impact of a Qualified and Trained Analytical Lab Staff Sabrina Trupia, Ph.D. and Jessica M. Sido NCERC."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Profitability Impact of a Qualified and Trained Analytical Lab Staff Sabrina Trupia, Ph.D. and Jessica M. Sido NCERC

2 Three functions of Ethanol Plant Laboratory Staff Performance UnderstandingCommunication

3 Laboratory Performance  Time spent on each test decreases  Fewer samples to re-run  Reliable analyses and reliable data

4 Hopper Hammer Mill Slurry Tank Jet Cooker Fermentation Ethanol Storage Molecular Sieve Distillation System Evaporator (Syrup) Drum Dryer Liquefaction 9 9 Centrifuge DDGS The Corn to Ethanol Process (Dry Grind) (200 Proof ) (190 Proof ) Whole Stillage (Recycled Water) (Cooling) ( Wet Cake) (Thin Stillage) (Heating) TM Centrifuge DE TS % pH DE pH HPLC H2O % Prox. Anal. TS% Prox. Anal. Amino Acids Total P Ash etc. Risk HPLC Particle Size Grain Qual Mycotoxins

5 Understanding Processes  Ability to recognize a problem  Ability to assess the problem  Ability to troubleshoot and to see where the problem originates (plant or lab)

6 Communication with Plant  Conveying the appropriate information to the operators  Quick response to changes in plant conditions  Providing more information that just data values

7 Is data integrity and quality (i.e. “good” data) only important to R&D labs?

8 RFA Guidelines “First, the [QA/QC] program should continually monitor the reliability (accuracy and precision) of the results being reported. It should answer the question “How good (accurate and precise) are the results obtained?” This function is the determination of quality. “ “The second function is the control of quality to meet the program requirements for reliability. “

9 Is “good” data only important to R&D labs? “Providing the highest quality products that meet customer expectations is of the highest priority for ethanol production facilities” “The success of an ethanol production facility depends on the Quality Control lab” --Kristy Moore, Renewable Fuels Association “Hard to justify [financially] only until you see the results” “When lab data is used as a problem-solving tool, it does save money for the ethanol plant” -- Andrew Kim, Center Ethanol

10 Laboratory Practices = Problem-solving Tools  Fermentation Management  Maximize ethanol production  Minimize fermentation problems  Mass Balance  Helps update the mass balance of production  Recognize trends leading to problems  Risk Management  Contaminants (S, antibiotics...) in ethanol and/or co- products

11 Cost Impact Example: Fermentation Management  A single contamination event resulting in one stuck fermentor (3-4% residual sugars) costs approximately $20,000  Chronic contamination resulting in a loss of 0.25%wv ethanol per fermentor = approx. $1,740,000 per year $1.74 per gallon ethanol) In a 50 MGPY Ethanol Plant (750,000 gal fermentor) Lallemand Ethanol Technology (2008); ethanol price: NYMEX Jun 8, 2009

12 Effective Training Training is best accomplished in three stages  Initial : exposure to lab procedures  Intermediate : active demonstration  Final : Hands-on training Throughout, lab practices are tied to plant processes

13 Thanks to… Lab NCERC John Caupert Brian Wrenn Yan Zhang Jack Ballinger Andrew Kim Kristy Moore …Questions?


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