In this post, we discuss the use of Equilibar® dome loaded back pressure regulators in vacuum drying applications. Equilibar regulators are known for their robust design and that is what makes these vacuum regulators so useful in this type of application.
Note: This blog has been updated with some extra information in June 2020.
Many wetted product streams require drying of the product in that stream. Removing water from the product stream is a highly energy-consuming process, because of the high boiling point and evaporation enthalpy. Therefore, applying vacuum is a common technique to improve the efficiency of the drying process. Through the application of a vacuum, the boiling point of water is lowered and starts boiling at temperatures of about 40 °C.
Equilibar EVR Series vacuum regulators are instrumental to efficient vacuum drying processes: The multiple orifice design of an Equilibar vacuum regulator allows high flows through the regulator, ensuring a rapid decrease of pressure with minimal energy loss. When the required vacuum is reached, the vacuum controller controls the vacuum accurately with the low flow of evaporated water. The two-phase capabilities of the multiple-orifice design of our regulator help to maintain a stable vacuum even when the liquid might (partially) condensate, resulting in a reliable process. Click here to read more about the operating principles of this technology in general.
Through the combination of different energy-saving technologies, only little energy is required to evaporate the moisture: Heat exchangers can be used to send the energy of the product from the installation to the steam boiler. The energy required for the evaporation of the process stream is thus obtained from the heat exchangers. To operate this system, the only energy needed would be the electrical energy for the steam compressor and the recirculation pump. An external thermal source would not be needed.
With the use of vacuum drying, the dried product contains a higher concentration of minerals. Not only is the volume of the dried product heavily reduced, these highly concentrated products also offer better efficiency and therefore a higher market value.
An interesting example of the successful application of Equilibar regulators in vacuum drying applications can be found with our customer Strocon, who designed a system to convert manure into valuable minerals of reliable levels, in a very high concentration, thus representing significant market value.
Yet another example of how Equilibar regulators have proven to be successful in innovative and sustainable process technology solutions!
Contact us if you would like to know more about the possibilities of vacuum regulators for your process and how to apply our (electronic) regulators in your setup. We are looking forward to discussing your business case.