Nickel Institute publishes guide on stainless steel for biofuels

By Susanne Retka Schill | November 21, 2012

The Nickel Institute has published the guide, “Stainless Steels: Cost-Efficient materials for the Global Biofuels Industries.” Written by Kristina Osterman, the introduction explains, “We are issuing this publication to help ethanol, biodiesel and biogas producers, process technology providers, developers, as well as plant designers and operators recognize those applications where economic benefits can be realized from selecting the appropriate grade of stainless steel.”

While acknowledging that stainless often costs considerably more than other piping or tank options, the 20-page booklet makes the case that biofuels plants will be looking for reliability, low maintenance costs and long lasting production equipment. “Stainless steels actively contribute to these objectives and bring considerable value to the biofuels industry.”

The booklet includes tables listing proven applications in ethanol, biodiesel and biogas plants, relevant attributes of stainless steels for the biofuels industry, plus a discussion of the applicability of different grades and specialty stainless steels and nickel alloys. It includes a discussion on the conditions in the ethanol process, and in particular cellulosic ethanol, where stainless steel performs well.

The guide is available on the Nickel Institute website.