This research aims to evaluate the performance of a fluidized bed boiler in an ethanol production plant through exergy and irreversibility analysis. The study also includes the optimization of the pre-heater and the deaerator in order to improve the system efficiency. Operational data from the ethanol production plant was collected between 2015 and early 2016. The total exergy derived from the fuel was determined to be 7783 kJ/s, while the exergy efficiency of the system was found to be 26.19%, with 2214 kJ/s used in steam production, while 71.55% was lost to component irreversibility and waste heat from the pre-heater. The exergy efficiencies of individual components of the system such as the boiler, deaerator, and pre-heater were found to be 25.82%, 40.13%, and 2.617%, respectively, with the pre-heater having the lowest efficiency. Thus, the pre-heater has the highest potential to significantly improve the efficiency of the boiler system. The optimization of the pre-heater shows that a rise in temperature in the outlet of the pre-heater positively affects the exergy efficiency of the deaerator.