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Pacific Ethanol, Madera

Whitefox ICE® at Pacific Ethanol, Madera


Madera, CA

Plant design:

Delta - T




Biofuels (U.S. Fuel Grade)

Nameplate Capacity


Whitefox ICE® Design Capacity

18,000 std GPD (68,100 std LPD)

Project Status

Started-up in Q4 2016

Pacific Ethanol (PE) has successfully operated a Whitefox ICE® membrane-based dehydration system at its Madera plant since December 2016. The three module system has a total production capacity of 18,000 US gallons per day (GPD).

Pacific Ethanol Madera is a 40 mmgy Delta-T design. The Whitefox ICE® system directly dehydrates the molecular sieve regenerate stream (MSU regen) to US fuel grade ethanol, rather than sending it back to the rectifier column, as shown in Fig. 2. The Whitefox ICE® system dehydrates from 60-75 vol% to >99.0 vol% in a single continuous pass with no regeneration of the membranes.

Benefits to PE of Operating with a Whitefox ICE® System

  • Load is reduced in superheater, molecular sieves, and rectifier / side stripper.
  • Fluctuations in the rectifier / side stripper are eliminated, with improved temperature control and overall plant stability.
  • Natural gas consumption is reduced by up to 1,000 BTU/gal; potential for higher savings with ongoing optimization.
  • Cooling Water (CW) load is reduced by up to 1,000 BTU/gal, rendering plant operation independent of ambient conditions over the hot summer months.
  • Plant operates at up to 10% higher capacity during summer months, no more product reduction in high-margin season.
  • Carbon Intensity (CI) is reduced by approximately 1 CI point .
  • Production capacity increase potential is 18,000 GPD (up to 15% increase).