Design of an Energy-saving Hydrocyclone for Wheat Starch Separation
The nearly unlimited applications and uses of starch for food industry make this natural polymer a unique component; no other constituent can provide consistence and storage stability to such a large variety of foods. Starch can be extracted from agricultural produce through either chemical processes or physical separation. The latter involves the application of centrifugal forces by means of hydrocyclones. A hydrocylcone is a device which separates, through physical methods, two phases of different densities. There are three flows involved: the feed (mixture introduced in the hydrocyclone), the overflow (the least dense part) and the underflow (the densest part). Normally, the underflow part, or commonly known as "heavies", is the desirable part that companies keep, this is, the starch. Despite hydrocyclones are not very expensive devices, current-based hydrocyclones demand high energy rates. This work describes the design and testing of energy-saving hydrocyclones for extracting starch from wheat. Eight prototypes were built and tested at Larsson Mekaniska Verkstad AB (Bromölla, Sweden). This company makes process equipment for the starch industry and was the one with which the author collaborated during the ellaboration of the Degree Project. Six of the eight hydrocyclones were built by Larsson; another was a commercial hydrocyclone and the last one was the one figured out after reading some literature and updates in the hydrocyclones field. The experiments consist of trying the eight hydrocyclones under different conditions, combining concentrations (153 g/L and 237 g/L) and pressures (500 Pa and 700 Pa). The experimental results proved the importance of geometry on hydrocyclone design, and showed the effect of geometrical parameters on the energy-saving properties of cyclones. Four of the eight new models behaved satisfactorily for low energy and high efficiency conditions, obtained with inlet pressures of 500 kPa and starch concentrations of 237 g/L.
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:hydrocyclones starch separation wheat agricultural engineering jordbruksteknik
Date of Publication:01/01/2009