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The heat exchanger specialist

[Case study] Reheating juice in sugar refineries: performance and energy savings

Barriquand’s exclusive Platular® welded plate heat exchanger technology is recognized for its performances and its assets in the sugar industry worldwide.

Reheating juice in sugar refineries: performance and energy savings.

Barriquand’s exclusive Platular® welded plate heat exchanger technology is recognized for its performances and its assets in the sugar industry worldwide. For example with this Platular® unit installed in a big French sugar group as a raw juice reheater.

Improvement of the manufacturing process
This lead player in sugar production recently invested millions of Euros to renovate and modernize its crystallization process as well as several stages of its production line. This reorganization planned the creation of a cold point with a new heat exchanger dedicated to reheating raw juice (400 T/h) at 25°C with condensates (206 T/h) at 55°C to retrieve the maximum amount of energy possible.

Heat exchangers in sugar refineries
Extracting sugar from canes or beets produces fouling fluids which are extremely loaded with suspended materials (fibers, natural organic matters). In sugar refineries, heat exchangers intervene throughout the successive stages of reheating juices extracted by diffusion or grinding (at room temperature), from purification and clarification until their concentration by evaporation to obtain a syrup which will then be crystallized.

Heat exchangers also play an essential role in the valuation of coproducts via the methanation or cogeneration processes. The sugar industry, which handles big volumes in large installations, is very greedy in energy.

Platular®: control energy and operating costs
The permanent need to reduce operating costs makes saving energy essential. In this case, our customer had for objective to reduce his energy bill by at least 20 %.
The Platular® heat exchanger’s high thermal performance allowed them to cool condensates to a temperature very close to the inbound juice temperatures by crossing the temperatures and therefore recovering the majority of the energy. It would have taken at least 4 tubular heat exchangers to do this (engendering additional installation and maintenance costs, more important pressure drops, …).

In this case, our client obtained a performance gain of 2 MW, that is 3.5 T/h of vapor, valued at roughly 30 €/T.
We installed a compact Platular® type X heat exchanger, designed and custom-built to respect the constraints of processing loaded fluids (selection of gaps between plates, widths and lengths of plates).
This robust Barriquand heat exchanger limits fouling thanks to its “Free-Flow” wide gap channels, gasket-free and without contact points, on the fouling fluid circuit (the hot utility fluid side is also fully welded and gasket-free).

Furthermore, thanks to its hinged doors, the raw juice circuit is easily accessible and cleanable.

This robustness and easy maintenance allow our customer to limit shutdowns during the course of a campaign, which are extremely harmful in this sector (subject to cane or beet production cycles, and therefore time constraints).Thanks to our Platular® technology, our customer succeeded in reducing their maintenance and investment costs while optimizing the thermal efficiency of their installation.

While the industrial world of today must obtain a fast ROI (return on investment), the advantages of the Platular® heat exchanger in our client’s sugar refinery is synthesized in the table below.Contrary to other devices which can be cheaper to purchase, the Platular® allows for a fast depreciation if we take into account its life expectancy, significantly reduced maintenance and exploitation costs, and therefore investment.
The point of return on investment is variable, the client must determine (with a commercial heat engineer) balance which will allow them to recoup their Platular® installation as quickly as possible.

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