Novozymes, located in Blair, Nebraska, is the leading producer of biological solutions, including solid biomass. Sometimes called biomatter, solid biomass is a source of energy from materials including wood, sawdust and crop waste that can be used directly or processed into briquettes (blocks of compressed charcoal or coal dust) and charcoal. Handling biomass presents unique challenges, but EAD’s project management, engineering and automation skills rose to the challenge.
When Novozymes needed to upgrade its bulk solids conveying and treatment system to handle spent filter cake from fermentation product filters, it contracted EAD to create the design from conception through completion. The project required multiple years and complex phases: each one required a design review, construction cost estimates of increasing accuracy and re-scoping for the next phase.
Conceptual design basis work included processing equipment testing, material properties analysis, production rate requirements and project execution planning. Basic design added equipment selection, layouts, power supply, automation, operability and occupational safety. The detailed design ran concurrent with preliminary construction, which required the development of several drawing packages that allowed contractors to begin work before the final equipment submissions and construction package were available.
Physical space limitations, installing around operating equipment and chemical exposure isolation requirements posed challenges. EAD’s design team used 3D CAD to create a design free of interferences that required no building modifications. EAD added all process equipment, piping, HVAC units, electrical equipment, cable tray and new interior structures to a 3D model of the existing building that we created for this project, which became the plant’s master drawing/model (see image above).