Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Osorio D., Pérez-Correa J.R., Agosin E. and Cabrera M. (2008)

Soft-sensor for on-line estimation of ethanol concentrations in wine stills. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2008.01.011

Revista : Journal of Food Engineering
Volumen : 87
Número : 4
Páginas : 571-577
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


Batch distillation is a traditional and widely-used technique to produce Pisco brandy, a young spirit made from Muscat wine. It is necessary to track a given ethanol composition in the distillate in order to obtain a reproducible spirit with a desired aromatic profile.
The use of multiple ethanol sensors represents a considerable cost, which prevents many distilleries from adopting this technology. Aiming to provide practical and affordable industrial-scale distillation control technology, we developed a soft-sensor to estimate distillate ethanol concentration on-line based on four temperature measurements in the still. The soft-sensor, calibrated with laboratory and industrial experimental data, consisted of an Artificial Neural Network and involved simple data pre-processing procedures. Simplicity and good performance were the metrics adopted for testing different algorithms and network structures. Returning mean prediction errors of ±0.6% v/v with laboratory scale distillations and ±1.6% v/v in industrial trials, the resulting accuracy of the soft-sensor is sufficient to improve standard practice and reproducibility.