Vacuum technology Dry condensing vacuum systems

Lean, green and cool

GEA has developed a cryogenically driven dry condensing (DC) vacuum system also known as an ice condensing system, which offers an environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative to traditional ‘wet’ vacuum systems for removing the vapor during the oil deodorization process.

Oil deodorization is a key downstream process in edible oil manufacture, which uses large amounts of steam to strip out free fatty acids and other volatile compounds from the heated oil. Oil deodorizing is carried out under high vacuum, and traditional ‘wet’ vacuum approaches to removing the vapor use steam ejectors to increase the pressure so that the vapor can be condensed in a heat exchanger. The process is a significant cost driver in waste-stream management.

In contrast, the DC technology, which is carried out at the 1–3 mbar pressure used for oil deodorization, uses just 10-20% of the energy and 0.1% of the water required by conventional ‘wet’ vacuum systems. Operating at a fraction of the cost of traditional steam evacuation approaches, our DC systems can typically achieve return on investment within just 3 years.

When held at pressures below its 5.8 mbar triple point, water exists in just two phases, vapor and ice. The direct condensing technology is carried out at suitably low pressure and temperature so that the water vapor can be condensed directly into ice – a phenomenon known as de-sublimation – without having to go through the liquid phase. Using a DC system from GEA only a small amount of condensed water is expelled after de-icing, which reduces costs associated with wastewater disposal. Pollutants stripped out of the oil into the steam can be more easily separated from the smaller volume.

The combination of GEA’s horizontal three condenser format and special process valve for homogeneous ice-building are key to maintaining the vacuum, and help to ensure reliable, continuous trouble-free operation.  Our systems can be retrofit into an existing plant or configured as part of a new installation.

GEA offers more than 50 years’ experience in dry condensing vacuum technology, and we have delivered more than 70 plants to leading processors worldwide, for applications including edible oil deodorization, fatty acid distillation and fractionation, water sublimation (freeze drying), glycerine distillation, and water vapor removal under vacuum.

GEA plants are built to offer robust, reproducible and trouble-free processing, right from day one. Our skilled project management teams will take your project smoothly from initial design through to final installation and testing. Choose from a range of comprehensive service and plant upgrade programs and we will support, maintain and optimize the performance of your plant for its complete lifespan.

 

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