Jul 06, 2012
Steam thermocompressor to save costs for KZN sugar millBack
Natal|Africa|Applied Vacuum|CoAL|PROJECT|Pumps|Water|Africa|Central America|Germany|South Africa|Energy|Equipment|Gas Compressor|Maintenance|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 (150 word limit)
Other Agriculture News
An agricultural industry-based hydraulic system, the Electrohydraulic Hitch Control (EHC-8) from engineering firm Bosch Rexroth, recently underwent enhancements to replicate the same, precise regulation of power and positioning for the lifting and lowering of towed...
Article contains comments
Updated 5 minutes ago Uganda could rely on income from future oil exports to finance an $8-billion railway if funding talks with China fail to bear fruit, its president said. Yoweri Museveni confirmed that Uganda had started negotiations with China on building the line that would link to...
Updated 1 hour 4 minutes ago JSE-listed materials supplier Afrimat expects to report basic earnings per share (EPS) of between 59c and 64c, when it releases its interim results for the six months ended August 31. This would be between 20% and 30% higher than the EPS of 49.1c recorded in the...
Updated 1 hour 27 minutes ago JSE-listed Freedom Properties has appointed Jan Francois (Franky) Pretorius as CFO and FD to succeed Richard Eaton, who resigned on October 17. Pretorius is a qualified chartered accountant and completed his articles with KPMG, where he was eventually promoted to...
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
The broad-based black economic-empowerment (BBBEE) alignment process in the con-struction sector has begun, dur-ing which the sector codes of the Construction Sector Charter Council (CSCC) will be aligned with the revised Codes of Good Practice (CoGP), which come...
It is second time lucky for Toby Venter. Ten years ago he negotiated to buy the Kyalami racetrack, but “the deal did not materialise”.
Environmental solutions company I-Cat started construction work on its R22-million, 1 949 m2 environmentally sustainable office and warehouse facility, commissioned by I-CAT Environmental Solutions, at a launch event in October. The new sustainable I-CAT campus,...
Effective file synchronisation and sharing across an organisation’s structures can provide the basis for robust mobile-device and document management while maintaining proper backup, version control and content distribution. These are the lessons learned by complex...
Hotel group Carlson Rezidor currently holds the largest hotel pipeline in Africa with 30 hotels and 6 300 rooms under development. The hotel group develops and operates Radisson Blu in the upper upscale segment and Park Inn by Radisson in the mid-market segment. With...