Trial units facilitate correct evaporator choice

October 20, 2020 Categories: Industrial - Opinion Piece

Evaporation is a widely used industrial process. From the concentration of food products, to waste treatment and sludge management, evaporators are employed for a number of processes across many different industries. Accordingly, a number of different technologies, including heat exchangers, are employed across a wide range of industries.

As a result, it is not always easy to determine which options are the most suitable for a particular process, or even if a certain type of evaporator is feasible for a particular industrial process. In order to help with these decisions, HRS Heat Exchangers offers both laboratory- and factory-scale analysis and pilot trial systems to facilitate the correct selection and application of evaporation equipment and systems.

In-house laboratory testing

HRS has its own in-house laboratory scale evaporation plant, comprising a Rotavap evaporator, cooling water unit, pressure controller, and a vacuum unit. This equipment allows us to determine whether an industrial evaporation process is feasible by testing a number of factors, including the concentration level of product that can be achieved, how the product behaves during concentration (and in particular its physical properties and any fouling behavior), and the physical properties of the evaporated water.

Using this information, it is then possible to design appropriate evaporation systems, including potential Zero Liquid Discharge treatment systems. Any products of evaporated water can be tested for any parameter, either in-house or using external laboratories where necessary. Laboratory evaporation tests can be carried out at any pressure between atmospheric and very low vacuum.

Evaporation pilot plants

Having determined that evaporation is suitable for the product in question, the next stage is usually to conduct larger trials of the process on the appropriate product/s. HRS operates a trial evaporation plant at its Spanish manufacturing site in Murcia. This allows us to take samples of product from customers and test them, without the need to install equipment on site.

HRS has a number of mobile pilot evaporation plants which can be installed at customer’s sites, these are strategically located around the globe for when intensive or long-term testing is required, or where the evaporation process may be applied across a number of products or lines, each unit contains all the necessary equipment to simulate a single-stage evaporation process, including:

  • 1 x K Series corrugated tube evaporator (CTHE)
  • 1 x Unicus scraped surface evaporator (SSHE)
  • Product recirculation pump
  • Steam/product separation tank
  • Hot water loop
  • Condenser
  • Cold water loop
  • Vacuum system

The pilot plants are equipped with all the instrumentation needed to assess all process parameters and includes a control panel complete with a Human-Machine Interface (HMI) for automatic operation. The evaporation plants are transportable, skid-mounted and easily set up for trials on-site trials.

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