Freeze concentration system
Freeze concentration as a technique is widely used in beverage industry, such as coffee, tea, wine, milk, beer, fruit juices etc., for reducing volume to be handled during storage, transportation and sale. The beverage industry's demand for high quality products at acceptable prices generally drives the development of new process technologies.
Prof. M.V. Rane and his student of Department of Mechanical Engineering have invented an energy efficient, simple and inexpensive Freeze Concentration System (FCS). The system can be used to selectively freeze solvent solutions using a heat pump. The use of a heat pump makes the process of freezing easier and the entire system now does not require a heat exchanger, recrystallizer and wash column as it was used to be in the past for the same process.
Water removal is the key to concentration of all food products. Various methods are available to remove water from liquid food products. Freeze Concentration namely precision water removal at freezing temperature ensures product quality at its technical best. The FCS has heat transfer surfaces to extract and deliver heat to freeze the solvent and melt the frozen solvent using a heat pump. An energy efficient layer freezing process is adopted. The device can have sets of heat extracting and delivering surfaces which work together to freeze and melt surfaces as to concentrate the solution in a batch or continuous process of liquid freezing process. The system has a low temperature difference between evaporator and condenser thus increasing efficiency. It has minimum number of conduits, pumps and controls, making it more efficient. In the flow through system, liquid can be introduced at the start point and concentrate can be collected at the end point of the system without need to recirculate concentrate.
The process of freezing and extracting a more concentrated solution was known, but with the currently devised FCS has made the process better, more efficient and more affordable to industry.