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Pulse combustion drying technology

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About thepulse combustion dryer technology

PCD Tech

After separating the viscous mixtures (sludge and pastes) into solids and liquid.  The solid fraction, still in viscous form, can then be valorized by drying it with the progressive pulse combustion drying (PCD) technology. If a waste stream, by-product or product can still be pumped there is a high probability that it can be dried by PCD, making it the most suitable anchor technology in the valorization process.

The term pulse combustion originates from the intermittent (pulse) combustion of gaseous fuel in the pulse combustion engine, in contrast to continuous combustion in conventional burners.

Such periodic combustions generate intensive pressure, velocity, and to a certain extent, temperature waves propagating from the pulse combustion unit through a tailpipe (a diffuser) to the process volume of the drying chamber.


1. Advantages of PCD technology



PCD technology has important advantages when compared to other drying technologies:

  • Environmentally friendly: The flame temperature in the PCD burner is controlled to keep it well below 1300°, thereby ensuring that no significant levels of toxic NOx, SOx or any dioxins are formed in the dried product and flue gas.  This is especially advantageous when drying foods and bio-products destined for human consumption.
  • Energy efficiency: The energy efficiency of PCD is significantly (up to 50%) better than its nearest rival. Energy savings are achieved by using evaporators to concentrate the product first. Unlike traditional drying technologies, PCD can dry high total solid content suspensions (pastes), ensuring more dried powder for lower energy consumption.
  • Higher quality of dried powder: The short residence time in the PC dryer limits the exposure of the product to heat.  The effectively lower product temperature achieves reduced denaturing of proteins and improves the level of available digestible protein.  PCD also deactivates enzymes and harmful micro-organisms.  Overall, when drying food or by-products of processed food, the major quality parameters of the dried product are much better preserved when drying by PCD than by other technologies.
  • Low maintenance: The PCD uses no high-pressure pumps or high-rpm atomizing equipment unlike conventional spray dryers ensures low maintenance.
  • Cost effectiveness: The smaller air volumes, lower pressure required for mixture delivery, reduced pre-treatment steps and smaller equipment footprint make the process more cost-effective than its competitors.
  • Seasonality of agricultural products: When drying agricultural products, the PCD can accommodate a variety of these products in the same dryer throughout the year. This ensures an economical viable plant with a possibility of valorized output products the whole year round.

2. Characteristics of powders



When drying ceramics, minerals, and chemical compounds in suspension or solution, the powders are superior to spray drying powders in terms of the following characteristics:

  • predictable smooth spherical solid particles,
  • very small (submicron) mean particle size,
  • narrow particle size distribution
  • high powder flowability.

When drying food production waste, food products and by-products, the PCD powders are superior to spray drying powders in terms of

  • Flavour,
  • Texture,
  • Protein viability,
  • Colour and
  • Surface characteristics.

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