Zetadec investigates BOA innovation
Improvement of pre-compacting technology in pelleting processing might reduce energy consumption in the feed industry. Zetadec performs trials to investigate the possibilities of a modified BOA500, and to study the consequences of the modified technique for pellet quality.
A BOA500 is used for pre-compacting milled raw materials as an alternative for double pelleting or expanding. In the pre-compacting process, steam and liquids are added and the raw materials are mixed and homogenized for efficient pelleting. This processing requires steam, and therefore energy, usually from natural gas. Feed manufacturer Nico Treurniet developed an adaptation of the BOA500, whereby thermal energy from steam is replaced by kinetic energy from friction. This could contribute to a reduction of fossil fuel consumption in the feed industry, but it may also affect pellet quality
Zetadec is currently comparing the traditional BOA500 with the adapted BOANiCO2, developed by Treurniet. Both machines are installed in the feed manufacturing plant of Cooperation Zuid-Oost Salland in Haarle. As a research company, Zetadec has the lead in the trials: “We set up the trial design and optimized process data collection in the factory”, says Stijn of Zetadec: “The comparison will be made based on data collected during normal operation of both machines and additional measurements performed by our team in the factory of Zuid-Oost Salland.” Observations by process operators during the trial are also taken into account.
The Zetadec researchers check the quality of the collected data and analyse these, using process modelling techniques. After finalizing the trial, Zetadec professionals will deliver a full report containing results and conclusions with respect to processing parameters, energy consumption and pellet quality obtained with the two BOA machines. The results of this trial are expected in June of this year.
Reduction of energy consumption while maintaining pellet quality would yield enormous advantages for the feed industry: “In The Netherlands alone, 13 million MT of pelleted animal feed are produced each year, so any improvement in pelleting technology while maintaining pellet quality would lead to great benefits for the industry”, says Treurniet.