Jul 06, 2012
Steam thermocompressor to save costs for KZN sugar millBack
Natal|Africa|Applied Vacuum|CoAL|Energy|Gas|Paper|PROJECT|Pumps|Water|Africa|Central America|Germany|South Africa|Energy|Equipment|Gas Compressor|Pressure Energy|Product|Steam Jet Equipment Manufacturer|Velocity Energy|Geoff Levy|Lael Levy|Water
© Reuse this
Applied Vacuum was approached by the sugar mill to supply an alternative to the MVR, which often broke down. The mill needed technology that would not only use high-pressure steam to compress low-pressure steam, but also keep it running uninterruptedly.
“The sugar industry generates steam for its plants, either by burning coal or by using bagasse. As coal is expensive, these plants generally use bagasse, but if it is in short supply or the bagasse runs out, they have to use coal,” says Applied Vacuum MD Geoff Levy.
He mentions that, although the steam jet thermocompressor ejector is not as efficient as the MVR it has replaced, it offers greater operating reliability.
“The installation of the thermocompressors are more of a cost-saving exercise, as the mill is now burning less coal, which is an expensive input material,” says Geoff Levy.
Applied Vacuum project manager Lael Levy points out that he has discussed the advantages of the steam jet ejectors and their cost advantages with KwaZulu-Natal sugar mills and refineries.
In addition to steam jet ejectors, liquid ring pumps are also used in the sugar industry.
A liquid ring pump is a rotating positive displacement pump and is typically used as a vacuum pump but can also be used as a gas compressor. Its function is similar to that of a rotary vane pump. The difference is that the vanes are an integral part of the rotor and churn a rotating ring of liquid to form the compression chamber seal.
It is an inherently low-friction design, with the rotor being the only moving part. Sliding friction is limited to the shaft seals.
By contrast, a steam jet ejector is a type of pump that uses the Venturi effect of a converging-diverging nozzle to convert the pressure energy of a motive fluid into velocity energy.
It then creates a low-pressure zone that draws and entrains a suction fluid. After passing through the throat of the injector, the mixed fluid expands. The velocity is reduced, which recompresses the mixed fluids by converting velocity energy back into pressure energy.
“Liquid ring pumps are more efficient on paper. They use less energy than steam pumps but the cost of repairing one liquid pump every year is the same as buying a brand-new steam jet ejector,” says Geoff Levy.
“This is a well-proven technology and we’re the only people in the country who produce it. “In Germany, there are only two companies producing this technology and, in the whole world, there might be 30 or 40,” he adds.
Applied Vacuum has produced equipment for various sectors in South Africa and has expanded into the sugar industry to promote the use of steam jet ejectors, which are used in most sugar producing countries in North, South and Central America. Steam ejectors have become items of choice in other countries because they require minimal maintenance.
In addition to the steam jet ejector, the company has also provided other equipment for the sugar mill industry. It has designed and manufactured a line of steam desuperheaters, including the steam atomising type, which has a large turndown capability.
This is used as the driving force to create a fine spray with the cooling water to maximise the surface contact area between the steam and water, thereby increasing the rate of water evaporation.
Another Applied Vacuum product is the steam-injection heater nozzle, which has been successfully used in sugar remelting tanks.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other Sugar News
Updated 17 minutes ago State-owned freight logistics group Transnet has awarded integrated solutions provider Tenova Mining & Minerals South Africa a contract for the supply of three reverse-pulse bagfilters. Two of the filters would be installed on multiproduct rail tipplers and one on a...
Updated 20 minutes ago Liquidators have now been appointed to wrap up the liquidation of financially distressed civil engineering group Protech Khuthele Holdings. Theodor Wilhelm van den Heever, Mark Abraham Christian, Irene Susan Ponnen and Mohamed Ismail Patel have been appointed to...
Updated 52 minutes ago Aluminium products supplier Hulamin, which on Monday reported a 42% year-on-year lift in earnings for the first half of 2014, has revealed that it is preparing an application for reciprocal import tariff protection, which it plans to lodge shortly with the...
Recent Research Reports
This Week's Magazine
Multinational semiconductor chipmaker corporation Intel announced its national campaign to further acquire partners to drive its She Will Connect programme, an initiative that aims to expand digital literacy skills to young women in developing countries, further into...
South Africa's MeerKAT radio telescope array programme should get back on schedule within a few months. This assurance has been given by SKA South Africa (SKA SA) associate director: science and technology Prof Justin Jonas. Early last month, Science and Technology...
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) Metrorail service will remain a subsidised service following its current multibillion-rand rolling stock, station, depot and signalling upgrade programme. PRASA group CEO Lucky Montana has allayed fears that...
The uncertainties around the remediation of affected areas as addressed in the Contaminated Land Provisions in the National Environmental Management: Waste Act No 59 of 2008 will possibly spark litigation and disputes between landowners and businesses, contractors...
South Africa is currently the largest component of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) active portfolio in Southern Africa, comprising 62.5% of the bank’s $7.9-billion exposure to the 12-country region – the second largest beneficiary is Mauritius, which...