offthebluff

Spokane Clean air questions

7 posts in this topic

Hello All,

 

I am in the process of opening a distillery in Spokane and was asked by Spokane valley permitting office to check with Spokane Clean Air to see if they would require extra permits. Below is a list of questions I received. I expected questions about the boiler and maybe grain processing but was surprised about the rest of the questions. Also this seems to be a first time for them from talking to them and I am being used as a test case so I am a little worried. Anyone have experience like this or have some input?

  • What will  the maximum production capacity be per year.

  • What will the final product will be ~ 80 – 100 proof (i.e., 40 – 50% ethanol by weight).

  • What will the maximum expected conversion of the grains to starch.

  • What will the he feed grains for the process will be.

  • What is the expected production rate per batch.

  •  A natural gas fired boiler will be used to supply heat for the mashing and distilling operation.

  • What is the rated heat input for the boiler (in BTU heat input/hr)?

  • What is the specific gravity of the final product?

  • What is the expected conversion percentage of the starch/sugars (produced during the mashing process) to ethanol?

  • What is the weight of spent grains generated per batch?

  • How are the spent grains handled and disposed of?

  • Please provide a flow chart/schematic of the process.

  • What is the capacity of the fermentation tank(s) and distillation column? What is the operating temperature of the condensing portion of the distillation column?

  • Are the fermentation tank(s) and distillation column vented to the outside air?

Thanks,

Pat

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Hmmm. Easy enough to answer these questions, but my first response back would be along the lines of, "Answers to many of these questions will vary with the products we make, which will vary with market pressures, availability of raw materials, and other opportunities and challenges. This being mostly recipe and process information, therefore to be considered protected intellectual property (IP), before we submit answers, please list how each datum will be protected, and for what exact purpose it will be used."

If they go to the trouble to answer to your satisfaction, then you may consider giving them this requested information. Otherwise, I'd involve a lawyer.

Just my $0.02 worth.

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Agreed.

All of these questions are simple enough and will be base exclusively on your own process of production, your equipment capacity and the ingredients YOU choose to use. I recommend the "KISS" method, KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID (no offense!) Answer the questions as simply and basically as possible, in one word where possible.

Ex: Annual production: XXX Gallons / BTU input: 100000Btu

The only big item here is the process of production flow chart. But you should already have a good idea of your processing plan at this point.

Id recommend calling a local micro brewery regarding the starch conversions and before/after weights of their grains if you are unfamiliar.

 

Alex

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Thanks for the replies,

Thanks for confirming that it seemed a little intrusive into my product plans. My only guess is that they are trying to figure out how much is going to go to CO2 and evaporation of product into the air.

I did a quick calculation based on 75% utilization of the starch per grains I could use and subtracting that weight from the original weight but have not clue if that is correct or even close however it is generic enough to not give to much info out.  I like the idea of contacting a brewery however I assume the grains are wet so not sure how accurate that would be for them.

Planning to sell spent grain as feed to farmers...

what are others doing with their spent grains(Could ask that of breweries also I guess)

 

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I think there is a method of determining specific gravity of the water (1.0) vs the specific gravity of the final wort (prior to yeast pitch). By subtracting the weight of water from the total weight of the wort you can determine the quantity of change and determine the weight of the extraction. I have never done this but it seems reasonable.

Farm feed is good assuming the farmer is only using it as a supplemental feed. Check to see if there are any mushroom cultivators in the neighborhood or nurseries who could use the spent grain as planting medium, top dressing or compost. Possibly commercial composting facilities.

 

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I gave them generic calculations and what I thought my maximum yearly production would be.

They came back with the assumption that I would loose about 10% to evaporation during fermentation and barreling.  I then asked them to provide the data by which it was derived and they sent me a link to this document which was an interesting read.  :   https://www3.epa.gov/ttn/chief/ap42/ch09/final/c9s12-3.pdf

What it comes down to is a licensing fee and a per ton fee for VOC emissions and stack fees if you are venting it to the outside of your building.

I won't get charged till I am in production so I will have time to figure out better calculations than what they are estimating my losses will be.

Thanks for your feedback everyone!

-Pat

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That is an interesting read. I feel it is for massive scale distilleries...and written in 1897 not 1997. Thanks for sharing it. It'll be interesting to see what the annual tonnage of emissions produced and charged will be. 

 

Good luck

Alex 

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