The process of drying out potato puree to make flakes produces emissions in the form of steam. Until recently, this steam was still being released into the outside world through flues, wasting energy and polluting the landscape with visible and smellable emissions. With the introduction of the E2E SteamClosure those days are over, says the Dutch company Tummers. In conjunction with their partner Solutherm they continue expanding the Emission to Energy (E2E) concept through the addition of this new extraction system. Marking another step towards the emissions-free factory of the future.
Flake production involves passing puree over a heated drum dryer, which evaporates the moisture to leave a thin potato sheet behind. This is subsequently ground up into potato flakes of the desired size. A lot of steam is released during the process and has to be extracted. All the steam is captured in pure form, due to the ingenious design of the newly developed and patented Tummers E2E SteamClosure, which is fitted hermetically over the drum dryer. Jelle Nijdam from Solutherm explains this in more detail: ‘Normally this steam would be extracted along with plenty of air, but here the steam is being fed into the E2E FlowCondenser and turned into water. This new concept produces water at 85 – 95 °C, which can be reused elsewhere in the production process for blanching, heating, cleaning or other purposes. This is a revolutionary process, as it is focused solely on moisture extracted from the potatoes and converted by the condenser into water which can be used somewhere else in the process. Moreover, the E2E SteamClosure renders the flake production process entirely free of steam and odor emissions, which is a genuine breakthrough!’
For many years Tummers Food Processing is a supplier of flake lines. And thanks to their quest to come up with innovation and more sustainable solutions, the factory of the future is now one step closer. The E2E SteamClosure has been subjected to comprehensive testing in an existing production environment belonging to one of Tummers’ customers and the results far exceed expectations. R&D Engineer Dennis Rademakers explains: ‘Obviously you go into the testing with certain expectations, hoping that these will be met in the results. But now the tests have exceeded not only our expectations but our customer’s too. Aside from making the drying process emissions-free, the E2E SteamClosure has plenty of other additional benefits which were picked up during the tests. The fact that the E2E SteamClosure is hermetically sealed means that the flakes are being dried in a controllable environment at a constant temperature and humidity, making the drying process more stable. What’s more, the hermetic seal also ensures that there’s no longer any air in the extractor, which means we can monitor the drying process perfectly because of the windows in the housing. In principle, the combination of the high, constant temperature and the sealed environment create a sterile space, boosting the hygiene of the production process. Once the extractor is switched off, it automatically drains nearly completely dry. The fact that no condensation is left in the extractor is beneficial in terms of hygiene and saves a lot of cleaning work.’
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