Click here for more information about Algenuity
Click here for more information about LiqofluxPhenometrics Buy 3 Get 1 Free
Visit cricatalyst.com!Evodos Separation Technology

Technology

Clean and efficient processing of harvested seaweed

March 19, 2017
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

A plant that processes hard-to-handle seaweed into agricultural fertilizer products needed a cleaner and more efficient solution for conveying the viscous seaweed extract for packaging.

AQuebec-based company that specializes in the manufacturing and commercialization of marine and seaweed-based products for agriculture and horticulture constructed a new processing plant located in the maritime region of the lower St. Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada. This location provides easy access to the fresh marine raw materials the company needs, specifically, the seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum.

The seaweed is harvested by tractor at low tide, with areas worked on a rotating basis in order to allow for continual regrowth. After harvesting, the seaweed is dried on-site at the manufacturing plant in greenhouses to ensure optimal preservation of the raw material, which is ultimately processed into high-quality crop fertilizer and soil amendments.

In processing the seaweed, the raw product is mixed with hot water and a caustic solution in an 11,000-liter (3,000-gallon) tank until the lengths of seaweed dissolve. From the tank, the liquid is transferred by a NETZSCH NEMO® progressing cavity pump into a centrifuge, where the solution is dewatered.

After the seaweed mixture is dewatered, the remaining seaweed extract is very viscous. This extract has a thick, sticky gelatinous consistency somewhere between solid and liquid. At this point in processing, the extract also has a high pH value, and is approximately 90˚C (195˚F).

In designing their new processing plant, the company wanted to install a piece of production equipment capable of conveying the high-temperature, alkaline dewatered seaweed extract from the centrifuge to packaging areas in the plant, and chose to install conveying equipment on a trial basis. The company first tested a conveyor positioned at the discharge of the centrifuge; however, the open nature and inflexibility of the conveyor solution, which decreased efficiency and led to strong smells during production, led the company to seek an alternative solution.

The customer reached out to NETZSCH for a custom pump solution to replace the conveyor system due to the success of the NEMO progressive cavity pump used for feeding the centrifuge. NETZSCH engineers supplied a trial NEMO BF pump to the processing plant to be used at the outlet of the centrifuge. During the course of this 60-day trial, the NETZSCH team discovered that the trial pump was able to handle the system pressure, even when the customer chose to split the discharge hose and serve two packaging areas. In doing so, the NETZSCH pump eliminated the need for separate batches serving the same purpose, thereby increasing production efficiencies.

The pump selected for this seaweed processing application features an open hopper design in stainless steel construction with a special feed screw, and a stainless steel rotor suitable for 90˚C (195˚F). The patented design of the pump feed screw overfeeds the pump chamber by introducing a backflow through the gap between the feed screw and the hopper housing, thereby creating a mixing and homogenizing effect in the force-feed chamber. Additionally, the screw rises above the joints on both the drive side and the rotor side, thus avoiding dead areas in the joint region.

The customer also requested an EPDM food-grade stator and packed stuffing box, which NETZSCH supplied. The pump was installed with a right angle 10 hp inverter duty gear motor with severe duty protection, a 10 hp VFD controller with coupling, and guard mounted on a 304 stainless steel base plate with a stainless steel 3″ to 2″ tri-clamp discharge connection.

In contrast to the open conveying system that was originally in place, the closed piping included in the NETZSCH pumping solution eliminates production odors and provides a plant that processes hard-to-handle seaweed into agricultural fertilizer products a cleaner and more efficient solution for conveying the viscous seaweed extract for packaging.

More Like This…

Copyright ©2010-2020 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission required to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

twittertopbarlinks_eventstopbarlinks_requesttopbarlinks_archives

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Skara Bohny reports in Stuff.co.nz that New Zealand’s Cawthron Institute is receiving funding as part of the High-Value Nutrition’s (HVN) National Science Challenge to de...
Judith Lewis Mernit writes in e360.yale.edu that an experiment being conducted by animal science professor Ermias Kebreab at the University of California, Davis, is testi...
AlgaEnergy, a Spanish biotechnology company specializing in the production and commercial applications of microalgae, and Yokogawa Electric Corporation, a leading provide...
The ability to produce oil from water and carbon dioxide with the help of light is something that is essentially common to all plants, from unicellular algae to the giant...
Liu Jia reports for the Chinese Academy of Sciences that a “magic soil” made out of modified clays has proven effective in fighting red tide along China’s coastal waters ...
Alexander Richter reports for Geothermal Energy News that, among the many examples offered during a recent conference in Pisa, Italy, on Perspectives and Impact of the Gr...
Hayley Dunning writes from the Imperial College of London that a new discovery has changed our understanding of the basic mechanism of photosynthesis and should rewrite t...
Paul Brinkmann reports for UPI.com that Florida Atlantic University and three other research schools have launched studies this year to test people who live near the coas...
Cody Nelson writes for MPRNews.org that a team of University of Minnesota-Duluth researchers wanted to know how shortening winters — and less ice cover on lakes — might i...
Cécile Barbière writes for Euractive.fr (translated by Rob Kirby) that, in large greenhouses formerly home to the tomatoes and cucumbers of the market gardening Groupe Ol...
Cyanotech Corporation, a Kailua Kona, Hawaii-based leader in high-value nutrition and health products made from algae, has announced financial results for the first quart...
Algae and corals have been leaning on each other since dinosaurs roamed the earth, much longer than had been previously thought, according to new research led by scientis...