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A drying system and fluidised-bed cooler for more capacity

Increasing capacity with only a small investment – is that really possible? Adding a fluidised-bed cooler to your drying system opens up a range of new opportunities.

Small and medium-sized sugar factories have little choice other than increasing capacity to be more competitive – while keeping energy consumption at the same level, preferably. And the investment shouldn’t be too costly. What does that mean for the last two sugar process steps before the end product is stored in a silo – drying and cooling?

It’s a matter of cost

At present, almost all of these factories use combined horizontal drum dryers and coolers. The product is dried in the front section of the system, and cooled in the rear section. But if a factory or refinery wants to increase throughput for capacity growth, these systems only have sufficient volume to dry the sugar; cooling is no longer possible. Replacing the drum dryer is generally not an option, as that would require changes to the entire building, piping and conveyor infrastructure. Which is expensive.

An excellent alternative is to add a vertical fluidised-bed cooler (VFC) to the drying system. In this combination, the two systems’ benefits perfectly complement each other, resulting in an extremely energy-efficient concept that is highly suitable for both new plants and upgrades. It is also a far less expensive solution.

A vertical cooler for Ukraine

Such a project has been implemented by CP AGRO-EXPRESS-SERVICE in Horokhiv, Ukraine. Once the conveyor systems had been adapted, the new flu­idised-bed cooler from BMA was shipped in early 2019 and integrated with the system. It is a vertical cooler with five cooling tube bundles. The new plant stands more than eight metres high and has a compact footprint.

The VFC is based on the tried-and-tested fluidised-bed technology. Sugar crystals move downwards between the cooling elements and are fluidised with small volumes of air in a countercurrent process.

It works perfectly in Ukraine – and could do in many other factories around the globe. Ideally also in tropical regions. Because the fluidised-bed cooler from BMA requires only small volumes of conditioned air for the removal of residual heat.