World’s Largest Soybean Biodiesel Plant

World’s Largest Soybean Biodiesel Plant

Customer: Chemical/Food Customer

Project Type: Electrical design and control system integration for a soybean oil extraction and refinery.

Project Scope: Matrix Technologies provided engineering, panel fabrication, controls and integration, and network services for a new Biodiesel Facility in Indiana. The biodiesel plant receives soybeans by truck and rail car and loads out solids and liquid products by both truck and rail car. Oil is extracted through a process using Hexane, and then further refined for use in formulating both food-grade oil and biodiesel product.

The plant also processes spent grain into ground meal and pelleted hulls for animal feed and protein extracts. Matrix provided electrical design, panel fabrication, network design, PLC and HMI controls\integration design and programming, as well as third party OEM systems integration to include Grain Receiving, Bean Preparation, Oil Extraction, Solids Loadout, Liquid Loadout, and Biodiesel Tank Farm processes. Electrical design included Class I Div I, Class I Div II, Class II Div I, and class II Div II areas as well as implementing explosion-proof, intrinsically safe and non-incendive electrical designs.

The control system was based on redundant Allen-Bradley ControlLogix PLC’s utilizing ControlNet, DeviceNet, and Ethernet communication protocols and Wonderware Archestra System Platform HMI’s also utilizing Wonderware Historian Server. Industrial networks included Profibus and ASI Bus device network.

The plant control network was designed to provide secure, efficient, and redundant communications for the entire control system utilizing a CISCO standardized fiber optic topology and incorporating four (4) VLANs. The resultant plant control network securely integrates to the plant business network as well as providing flexibility and expandability to accommodate future growth.

Engineering Challenges: There were multiple OEM vendors involved in the process and this was an entirely new process site.  The project required a great deal of communications and integration between the customer, OEM and Matrix to ensure project success.

Project Outcome: The facility started up on time and on budget, and Matrix continues to support the operations and upgrades as required.