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Economics of Concentration Processes in the Food Industry
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The economics of four concentration processes utilized by the food industry were analyzed. The processes examined are: triple effect evaporation, mechanical vapor recompression evaporation, reverse osmosis, and freeze concentration. The analysis was conducted on a typical water system concentrated from 5% to 30% solids. It includes operating and fixed capital costs at three throughput levels. A comparison is also made with previously published data on concentration costs. The analysis of the fixed capital costs of the four systems shows the expected rise in cost from the triple effect evaporator through the vapor recompression, reverse osmosis, and freeze concentration systems. At a given water removal rate the vapor recompression system is 1-1/2 times as costly as the triple effect system, while the reverse osmosis and freeze concentration systems are 3 and 7 times as costly. However, these relationships change when manufacturing costs are considered. The reverse osmosis system is cheaper to operate than the triple effect evaporator, while the reverse osmosis and freeze concentration system are 2 and 3 times as costly. This shrinkage of the cost differentials is primarily due to the type and quantity of energy each of these systems utilize.
Renshaw, T. A.; Sapakie, S. F.; Hanson, M. C. (1983). Economics of Concentration Processes in the Food Industry. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from