Emerson chosen by Dynamic Fuels to digitally automate first commercial-scale renewable diesel plant in North America

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Dynamic Fuels ultra-clean diesel fuel 
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Site of Dynamic Fuels in Geismar, LA - The separator featured is used in the first step of separating fractions of product after being processed in the primary processing unit known as a HDO reactor. Emerson’s Rosemount transmitters, DeltaV control system and Fisher valves will eventually be installed to measure process conditions, determine appropriate control actions and regulate product flow.
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Images courtesy of Dynamic Fuels.


Grace Capwell
Emerson Automation Solutions
+1 (512) 834-7214

Emerson’s PlantWeb® digital architecture selected for revolutionary venture between Tyson Foods, Inc., and Syntroleum Corporation to convert animal fats and greases into ultra-clean, renewable diesel

AUSTIN, TEXAS (August 24, 2009) — Dynamic Fuels, a 50/50 venture of Tyson Foods, Inc., and Syntroleum Corporation, has awarded Emerson Process Management the contract to digitally automate North America’s first commercial-scale renewable diesel plant. With Emerson’s PlantWeb® digital architecture, Dynamic Fuels will gain optimum control through the networking of thousands of Emerson smart devices, systems, and predictive maintenance software.  

The $138 million facility in Geismar, La, which is scheduled to begin operations in early 2010, will use Syntroleum’s revolutionary biofuels manufacturing process – Bio-Synfining™ – with plans to convert animal fats and greases into 75 million gallons/year of ultra-clean, renewable diesel fuel.  With some plant modifications, the Geismar facility can also produce renewable jet fuel.

Renewable diesel is chemically identical to petroleum-based diesel but produces lower emissions including lower nitrogen oxide, near zero sulfur, and no aromatics (which can be carcinogenic). It also has a higher combustion quality (cetane level) than petroleum-based diesel or biodiesel.

“This is not your typical biodiesel or bioethanol plant,” said Jeff Bigger, Senior VP of Business Development for Syntroleum. “Emerson has a good background in employing automation. As a hydrogenation facility, we needed that reliability and to have the close operation control, which is integral in such an environment.” 

Bio-Synfining processes triglycerides and fatty acids from fats and vegetable oils with heat, hydrogen and proprietary catalysts to produce renewable diesel or jet fuel. This complex process  is similar to petroleum refining.

Renewable diesel is compatible with existing fuel pipelines, storage facilities and other conventional fuel infrastructures. It can be blended with petroleum-based fuels to improve their emissions quality. 

“We are pleased to team with Dynamic Fuels in delivering precise control of the extreme processes in this first commercial-scale renewable diesel plant in North America,” said Steve Sonnenberg, president of Emerson Process Management.  “Pairing the expertise and resources of our companies will help ensure that this innovative plant is developed on schedule, and operates smartly with high efficiency and availability.”

PlantWeb digital plant architecture networks the DeltaV™ digital automation system and AMS® Suite predictive maintenance software with intelligent field devices. This intelligent digital network continuously gathers diagnostics data that can be used for asset optimization, including predictive maintenance. Plant personnel will use the data to correct potential equipment and process problems before they interrupt production.

Emerson’s smart devices installed throughout the plant will include Fisher® digital control valves, Micro Motion® flow meters, and Rosemount® temperature, pressure and level transmitters.

Emerson has provided products and services to Syntroleum since before 2000. This will be the first Emerson installation For Dynamic Fuels. 

“We need to have a design that can be exported to other locations,” Bigger said. “And that’s one of the things that we get with the Emerson system. It’s scalable.”

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About Emerson
Emerson (NYSE: EMR), headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global technology and engineering company providing innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and residential markets. Our Emerson Automation Solutions business helps process, hybrid, and discrete manufacturers maximize production, protect personnel and the environment while optimizing their energy and operating costs. Our Emerson Commercial and Residential Solutions business helps ensure human comfort and health, protect food quality and safety, advance energy efficiency, and create sustainable infrastructure. For more information visit Emerson.com.

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