Torri di Raffreddamento Modulari per la Produzione di Biodiesel

Industrial Cooling Towers for Biodiesel Production

An Italian oil & gas company has taken on the challenge of sustainable biodiesel production with two successive scale-ups. MITA installed six open-loop cooling towers and one large modular tower at successive times: non-corrodible fiberglass, energy efficiency through the use of inverters.

  • Biodiesel production plant: 130,000 tons
  • Total capacity doubled in two interventions: from 7 to 13.95 MW
  • High-quality materials such as non-corrodible fiberglass, energy efficiency through inverter
Multinational Oil & Gas Company
2003, 2020
Central Italy
Type of interlocutor
End customer
Scope of application
Biodiesel, Oil & Gas
Story in Brief
Customer MITA has been in the petroleum products and environmentally friendly fuels business for a century. The company strongly affirms its environmental commitment, including through the use of modern technologies and the establishment of an advanced biodiesel plant in Central Italy in the late 1990s. At the time of MITA's first supply, the company boasted a production of more than 100,000 tons of biodiesel per year, partly due to increased demand in Italy and the European Union.
List of customer needs
- Cooling of condensation water, generated in the process of separating biodiesel from glycerin, as a result of an increase in plant production (2003 supply)
- Request for new coolers following further scale-up, flow rate of 200 m3/h (2020 supply)
Output fluid and temperature
- 30°C, initial temperature 35°C (2003 supply)
- 30.5°C, initial temperature 36.5°C (2020 supply)
Ambient air
25°C (wet bulb temperature)
Powers required
- 7 MW total thermal capacity (2003 supply)
- 13.95 MW of total thermal capacity (2020 supply)
Technologies provided
- No. 6 PME-E 3015 CW open circuit cooling towers with inverters (decommissioned)
- No. 1 PMM A22 modular cooling tower: 4 cells, factory pre-assembled modules
Construction Pluses
- Inverter (torri PME-E)
- Fiberglass paneling further protected by UV-resistant gelcoat
- Manhole for easy internal inspection and maintenance (PMM tower)
Key to success
- Energy efficiency thanks to inverters for fan control
- Durable materials such as fiberglass
- Wide range of solutions to select from
- Easy maintenance of coolers
- Quick installation time (3 days for 2020 supply)
- Established customer relationship over time (thanks to two solution deliveries and numerous service interventions)

1. Company and Context of Installation

The customer, a multinational oil & gas company, has been in the oil products and environmentally friendly fuels business for a century. The company has a global presence and a strong focus on environmental sustainability.

  • In 2003, the company decided to expand its biodiesel production plant in central Italy. The increase in production meant that more condensation water, generated in the process of separating biodiesel from glycerin, had to be cooled.
  • In 2020, the company faced a further increase in scale, doubling its total thermal capacity (from 7 MW to nearly 14 MW).

2. Proposed solution

MITA Cooling Technologies proposed two different solutions, depending on the specific needs of each supply.

  • For the 2003 supply, MITA proposed the supply of six PME-E 3015 CW open circuit cooling towers (to which inverters were added over time to automate the operating parameters). The towers were made of non-corrodible fiberglass, thus ensuring long durability.
  • Instead, a large PMM A22 modular cooling tower was proposed for 2020 delivery: a modular solution whose four cells are factory-built and easily transported and installed on site.

3. Results and critical success factor

Both deliveries were successful, contributing to improvements in the efficiency of the customer’s production facility and subsequent increases in business scale.

Some of the success factors:

  • The provision of non-corrodible and reliable solutions,
  • quick installation time (three days in the case of the PMM tower),
  • and an established relationship with the customer over time.
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