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Tag Archive: Recirculation Cooler

  1. Heat Exchanger Helps Aloe Processor Improve Quality

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    Enerquip Tank The aloe producer found that if they could cool the product below 40°F (4.4°C) before packaging it, there was a significant improvement in quality.

    In 2012, a producer of pure aloe for medicinal and nutritional products approached Enerquip, a manufacturer of shell-and-tube heat exchangers, with a unique cooling problem. In the tropical region where aloe is harvested, the ambient temperatures hover near 95° F (35°C) most of the time. This tropical climate was accelerating bacterial growth in the product, which was lowering its value and shelf life. Enerquip worked with the producer to develop a solution using a heat exchanger.

    Ideal conditions for the product were discovered after performing some testing. The aloe producer found that if they could cool the product below 40°F (4.4°C) before packaging it, there was a significant improvement in quality.

    However, the customer’s lack of utilities at the packaging site led to complications in the cooling process. They had electricity, but the cooling water system already in place did not supply water that was cold enough to provide the low temperatures necessary to impede bacterial growth. Also, the staff using the equipment was not technically inclined, so any solution needed to be easy to control and understand. Because the aloe processor only packed the product several times per season, the equipment needed to be easy to clean, move and store during the off-season.

    After reviewing the process and existing equipment, the thermal team at Enerquip realized that a heat exchanger was required for the application. Heat exchangers are built for efficient heat transfer from one medium to another. There are multiple types of heat exchangers that offer the ability to either separate the media or, for them, to be in direct contact.

    Shell-and-tube heat exchangers consist of a series of tubes inside a larger pipe. The tubes contain the product, which is the fluid being heated or cooled. The second fluid – a heating or cooling medium – fills the larger pipe around the outside of the tubes, with the heat transferring between the product and the medium through the tube walls.

    During the heat exchanger sizing and selection process, several factors are taken into account:

    • The product specifics
    • Temperature (in/out)
    • Flow Rate (product quantity in/out)
    • Cooling medium
    • Temperature and size limitations

    The ability to easily clean the equipment played a major role in this application. Aloe is a very viscous product, and due to the frequency of use, it became evident that a shell-and-tube heat exchanger would best fit this application. The exchanger was designed in a straight-tube, multi-pass configuration, which allowed the product to travel back and forth through the exchanger several times before heading to the packaging line. The straight tube exchanger option with removable bonnets allowed for easier mechanical cleaning than other designs.

    Due to ground water availability and temperature at the plant location, a chiller was added to complete the process for this application. The air-cooled chiller was installed and utilized to provide enough cold glycol and water to cool the aloe product in a single pass through the exchanger. Once filled with glycol and water, the chiller only needed plant electricity to run. The chiller supplier installed simple pushbutton procedures that were easy for the plant staff to follow. Independent shut-off valves and removable hoses between the chiller and exchanger also allowed for easy tear down and cleaning following production.

    The end results of this process provided the aloe producer with an efficient system and cleaner, colder and more valuable aloe products.

    Click hereto read more about the Aloe Vera processing.

    Contact the helpful heat exchanger expertsat Enerquip today!

  2. Closed-loop process cooling can help reduce water, energy use in pharmaceutical manufacturing

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    There is no denying the importance of the pharmaceutical industry. The products and innovations that come from it keep people healthy and can save lives. Despite the good that comes out of the pharmaceutical industry, there are some key problems the industry causes. Water and energy consumption are two things that industries of all kinds are working hard to decrease. Pharmaceuticals are not an exception.

    According to the World Health Organization, the most widely used product in pharmaceutical manufacturing is water. It is used as a starting material, as an added substance in products, and in the processing of the products.

    Water problems

    Being such a crucial ingredient and factor in the means of processing products, it’s hard to get away from using so much water. However, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing pointed out that many companies have been focused on conserving water to achieve two goals: improve the sustainability of their operations and cut operational expenses.

    The publication explained that one of the biggest culprits of high water usage is cooling towers. These provide an important step in the production of a wide range of products, including:

    • Forming tablets
    • Cooling creams and ointments
    • Sterilizing liquids
    • Batch processing

    Unfortunately, these important towers typically use between 1 and 1.5 million gallons of water every year. That water is used for its intended purpose once, then discarded and, many times leaves the plant contaminated.

    Not only do cooling towers use an exorbitant amount of water, but they are also heavy users of energy. Fans and pumps that are continuously running require high amounts of energy. Plus, contamination in forms of algae, solid deposits, microbiological growth, airborne diseases, scaling and more all require chemical treatment. This not only uses even more energy, but also further contaminates the water that is dispelled from the plant.

    Shell and tube heat exchangers provide a solution

    Given these issues, many pharmaceutical manufacturers have recognized the need to replace these important but costly cooling towers. A popular alternative is a closed-loop process cooling system.

    According to Medical Design Technology, many manufacturers in other parts of the world have already begun to recognize the wide range of benefits offered by closed-loop process cooling systems, including:

    • Decreased water and energy use
    • Lowered operational costs
    • Better control over cooling temperatures
    • Greater profitability

    These systems work using heat exchangers and an adiabatic chamber to cool process water, which is then available year-round at the correct temperature. Inside the chamber, a cooling mist is sprayed into the air when the temperature begins to creep up. The mist evaporates immediately so that it does not negatively affect the cooling process. The cooled water is circulated through the process machines.

    Water savings can reach up to 98 percent

    This technology reduces water consumption simply because it reuses water rather than getting rid of it and starting fresh with a new batch of water. Water savings can reach up to 98 percent using this method as opposed to the traditional cooling towers.

    Pharmaceutical Manufacturing pointed out that the system also reduces other contamination problems associated with cooling towers. The water that is recycled meets the sanitary requirements that manufacturers must adhere to. Plus, since the water won’t be contaminated, problems like airborne diseases such as Legionella are reduced.

    Energy consumption is also reduced using these systems. Pharmaceutical Manufacturing reported that in some climates, the plant can even turn off the chillers during colder months, reducing energy use even further.

    In today’s ever-developing world, it’s crucial that pharmaceutical manufacturers are operating at their best, and are doing so safely. However, for these companies to continue to become more profitable, it’s important that they find ways to cut costs and reduce energy and water use. To learn about how shell and tube heat exchangers can help improve your operation, talk to the experts at Enerquip.

    Want more about Pharmaceutical-grade shell and tube heat exchangers? Read on.

    Pharmaceutical heat exchangers – high purity design and fabrication

    Five important qualities to look for in Pharmaceutical process equipment

    Pharmaceutical manufacturers must meet ASME-BPE standards

    Important and applications of a double tubesheet design