Sunday, September 17, 2017

18/09/2017: Lowering operation costs of extrusion: A path to sustainable production of fish food

by Farmet

In recent years significant effort has been given to sustainability in feed production

The path of lowering energy demands of the process and thereby the operation costs is one of the means of achieving sustainable feed production. 

Image credit: Farmet
Farmet a.s. has 25 years of experience in the field of technology of feed production via extrusion as well as oilseed pressing.

The current demand for lower energy costs of the process inspires research and development of technologies that are less demanding of energy.

 To meet this challenge, Farmet is introducing an innovative way to recuperate energy for extrusion lines, coupled with an intelligent system for the control of process parameters.

Increasing efficiency by energy recuperation

For an evaluation of energetic demands of the processing of feed by extrusion, the following terms are commonly used: Specific Mechanical Energy (SME), i.e. energy supplied by the extruder's engine, and Specific Thermal Energy (STE), i.e. energy supplied by heat transfer, most commonly by steam.

The processes of extrusion and the following drying are very demanding energetically. The sum of SME and STE varies between 50 and 140 kWh/t and a nearly similar amount of energy is required for drying.

During fish food production the feed mixture is heated up several times, when the feed is being shaped as well as when being dried. That is when energy loss by radiation and evaporation (after the extrudate has left the extruder; during drying) occurs.

Our key innovation of lies in a sophisticated system for energy recuperation that can save up to 30 percent of the overall energy consumption. Waste heat, generated by extrusion and drying, is used for a multi-step preheating of entering material before it reaches the extruder.

For that purpose a special bin for the mixture is used, where a system of heat exchangers preheats the material. This causes a decrease in SME and STE of extrusion. The control of the recuperation process is fully integrated into the extrusion line’s control system.

It is the integration of the control of all the components that is key to ensure the stability of the process. The control system allows the operators to shorten the run-in required to achieve desired granule quality or to switch material type, which saves the resource material by decreasing the amount of insufficiently processed material.

Read the full article, HERE.

Visit the Farmet website, HERE.

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