Projects

FreezeCon – Freeze Concentration

  • Project leader
  • Robert de Smidt
  • ECN part of TNO

Saving energy, improving product quality with freeze concentration as economically feasible bulk dewatering technology.

Background

Several technologies are available for liquid concentration in the food industry, the most common being evaporation. However, evaporation processes cause product degradation and have high energy consumption. Freeze concentration, which separates water by freezing, maintains high product quality and uses intrinsically less energy. Current solutions in freeze concentration do not bring the potential energy efficiency gains and capital- and operating costs are high.

Project objective

The overall objective is to demonstrate that freeze concentration can be an economically feasible bulk dewatering technology with intrinsic benefits in specific energy consumption and product quality. The project team expects to be able to reach this objective via:

  • The use of equipment already available for industrial refrigeration allowing for cost efficiency and quick scale up;
  • Focus on the balance between separation efficiency and bulk processing, using temperature and pressure as degrees of freedom during crystallization on a heat exchanger surface.

Short description of activities

Using the information from the full scale design, the product and process parameters will be defined and a lab scale freeze concentration unit will be developed, build and tested with a focus on separation efficiency, bulk processing, product quality and energy efficiency. The measured data will be used to determine the benefits with respect to energy efficiency and product quality. The experiences gained during design, building and commissioning  the lab scale unit is used to determine the CapEx of a full scale system.  

Results

A full scale design for energy efficient bulk dewatering  through  freeze concentration. A laboratory test unit and experimental result  with regards to energy efficiency and product quality. A business case for a full scale system based on results from laboratory unit. Decision of end users whether or not to continue with the development.

Grant provider

This project is co-funded with subsidy from the Topsector Energy by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.

Sustainable development goals

This project contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Project partners

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