Inside view of drum dryer

Sugar drying and cooling plants

Beet and cane sugar factories, and sugar refineries throughout the world use BMA plants for the drying and/or cooling of refined sugar, white sugar, and/or VHP and VLC sugar.

Drum dryer

When drying sugar crystals it is important that the syrup clinging to the crystal surface also undergoes crystallization. This process takes both time and crystal nuclei.

A countercurrent drying drum offers perfect conditions for effective drying of the moist sugar crystals after centrifugation. The drum dryer combines the mechanical treatment of the crystal surface and slow drying conditions in an ideal manner. To control the drying effect in the drum dryer, heated air can additionally be fed into the dryer through a central pipe.

With this type of dryer, there is a perfect balance between energy input and water evaporation rate.

Benefits:

  • Rotatioal drum movement exposes the surface of the sugar crystals to mechanical action
  • Heat inside the sugar crystals is utilized for efficient drying
  • Large drum volume helps produce uniform product flow rates
  • Sugar lumps or short periods of elevated sugar moisture are tolerated without any problems
  • A central pipe can be installed for improved drying efficiency, or for drum operation as a dryer/cooler 

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Inside view of drum dryer (at standstill)
Inside view of drum dryer (at standstill)

Fluidized-bed cooler

Cooling is as important for sugar storing and sugar quality as the drying process.

The fluidized bed offers excellent conditions for perfect heat and mass transfer, with the special feature that granular and crystalline solids are moved in a current of air. Since the bed of whirling particles behaves like a fluid, this process is also referred to as fluidization. While the sugar crystals are transported in this whirling current from the drum intake to the discharge end, they are cooled to the intended outlet temperature. With integrated cooling tube bundles, the performance of the fluidized-bed cooler can be improved considerably, and at the same time the air requirements and, consequently, the size of the dryer units can be substantially reduced. The sugar leaves the cooler at a temperature which is suitable for storage in a silo. Fluidization in the air current has the added effect of secondary sugar drying. This effect can be enhanced with additional drying zones so that the unit can also operate as a (secondary) dryer/cooler. The temperature load to which the sugar is exposed in the drying drum can thus be reduced.

Benefits:

  • Effective cooling in the fluidized bed
  • Cooling to a constant sugar temperature
  • Reduced air volume
  • Compact system design
  • No moving parts
  • Secondary drying and cooling within the same system
  • Cooler exhaust air can be utilized in upstream drying plants
  • Separation of dust particles from the sugar stream

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Drum dryer and fluidized-bed cooler combined

By combining a drum dryer with a fluidized-bed cooler, the advantages of both systems complement each other. The result is a design that is highly attractive in terms of energy efficiency and offers an excellent solution, no matter whether it is used for new plants or for expansion programmes.

Cooling tubes incorporated in the fluidized-bed cooler allow the air rate required for sugar cooling to be reduced to such an extent that the complete volume of exhaust air leaving the fluidized-bed unit can be utilized in the drying drum. While passing through the fluidized-bed cooler, this air reaches temperatures that are highly effective for drying purposes. The energy required to heat the drying air can thus be reduced substantially.

When it is reused in the drying drum, the exhaust air leaving the fluidized-bed cooler need not be freed from dust. The combined exhaust air volume produced by sugar drying and cooling can thus be reduced dramatically, resulting in far lower costs for exhaust air dedusting equipment, and smaller exhaust-air fans with lower power requirements. This energy saving effect makes the combined drum dryer / fluidized-bed cooler system a highly energy efficient option.

The addition of a fluidized-bed cooler fitted with cooling elements is also an excellent solution for improving the performance of existing drum dryer / cooler systems with inadequate cooling rates. In such a case, only the fluidized-bed cooler with a fan for the ingoing air needs to be installed. All exhaust air will be transferred to the existing drum-type cooling system, where it helps improve the drying capacity before being discharged through the available exhaust air piping.

Benefits:

  • Reduced air rates for the processes drying and cooling
  • Exhaust air from cooling system used for drying, without any additional dust dedusting equipment
  • Thermal energy savings
  • Sugar exposed to low temperature loads in the drying process
  • Thermal / mechanical interaction on the crystal surface for optimum drying in the drum dryer
  • Large drum volume helps produce uniform flow rates for all downstream equipment
  • Sugar lumps or short periods of elevated sugar moisture are tolerated without any problems
  • A central pipe can be installed for improved drying efficiency
  • Effective cooling in the fluidized bed
  • Adjustment of constant sugar outlet temperatures throughout 24-hour periods in systems of adequate capacity
  • Compact plant design
  • Separation of dust particles from sugar stream

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