A new heat exchanger can prevent contamination of foods while indirectly heating or cooling free-flowing powder and bulk solids, its manufacturer claims.
Bulkflow Technologies claims that its fully-enclosed and totally sealed Bulkflow Heat Exchanger eliminates any concern for dirt or contamination and provides better control of food grade products. The Bulkflow Heat Exchanger indirectly heats or cools free flowing powder and bulk solids such as sugar or salt. The heat exchanger does not emit any air, and combines lower energy consumption with lower capital cost than other models, the company claims. "This is because, unlike many other types of bulk solids coolers, the Bulkflow system does not require fans or large volumes of air to operate and lets gravity do the work to greatly reduce power consumption," the company stated. The system's static design has no moving parts, allowing for gentle product handling. According to Bulkflow, the system has an advantage over traditional fluid bed or rotary drum cooling methods and makes the technology "environmentally friendly". "Food industry applications include uniformly cooling salt leaving a drying operation, more uniformly warming salt for stronger pellets and cooling sugar crystals before storage and packaging," Bulkflow stated. "In the sugar industry, it can also be installed as a primary or secondary cooler. Both sugar and salt applications are readily adaptable to plant retrofits." The exchanger can also be used to heat or cool starch, dextrose, rice, vitamins, cocoa products, corn flour, corn meal or corn germ, coffee, oats or groats, pet and animal food, soybeans, oilseed and wheat, the company claimed. The Bulkflow Heat Exchanger consists of a series of several closely spaced hollow, fully welded heat exchanger plates. The food product moves by gravity between the plates in mass flow. Cooling or heating media circulates internally between the plates' dimples and counter-current to product flow for higher thermal efficiency, the company stated. A mass flow discharge feeder controls the product flow rate and regulates throughput. The gentle handling of product flow prevents product attrition, the potential for caking in storage and improved packaging, the company claimed.
The exchanger is designed as a modular construction for expansion.