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The food sector has invested heavily in bioenergy projects such as biomass boilers and anaerobic digestion but where heat which is generated or used in one part of a process is lost rather than reused, according to HRS.
One of the most common situations where heat is wasted is where businesses have installed an AD plant to manage their food waste and factory by-products, said Matt Hale, international sales manager, HRS Heat Exchangers.
Heineken, Weetabix, Maltesers & Ovaltine
“In most cases the primary energy output is electricity supported by Feed-in-Tariffs (FITs) which is used on site or exported to the grid,” he added.
“The electricity is generated by a gas engine combined heat and power plant, but what happens to the heat? In some cases it is used for processing or heating the food factory, but often not to its full potential.
“Implementing HRS heat exchanger technology, to use waste heat from one process to fuel another, could save food factories 7.5 pence per kWh² used.”
One such company is Muntons malted ingredients based in Suffolk, UK which supplies malt to Heineken beer, Weetabix, Maltesers and Ovaltine.
The firm uses 250,000 tonnes of barley to manufacture 180,000 tonnes of malt pa, which it sells the brewing and distilling industry and makes a range of malted ingredients used in food, confectionery and baking.
The company is currently putting the finishing touches to its £5.4m on-site anaerobic digestion (AD) plant. Integral to the success of the 499 kW facility is a 3 Tank Batch Sludge Pasteuriser System with Energy Recovery from HRS Heat Exchangers, which will help turn 80,000 tonnes of Muntons’ liquid malt waste into biogas and organic fertiliser.
This biofertiliser will be then be applied to local farmland, helping the company’s network of growers to produce the barley needed to make Muntons’ malt.
“For Muntons, this whole project has been about maximising efficiency. Although they have an abundance of heat, they still wanted to recapture what they could and our heat exchangers will provide at least 40% heat regeneration,” said Hale.
AD is a fast-growing industry in the UK
He added AD is a fast-growing industry in the UK and has seen a steep rise in operational plants: from 192 in 2009 to 335 in January 2015. AD could deliver 10% of Britain’s domestic gas demands and reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions by 2%+ if industry reaches its potential: 40TWh of energy.Via HRS heat exchangers creates anaerobic digestion plant for Muntons