Process technology changes

Process technology changes involve the installation of new processes and technology to minimise waste and increase efficiency. Examples of installations of new technology include:

• Replacing batch pasteurisers with continuous process pasteurisers incorporating plate heat exchangers with less waste and counter current heat regeneration reducing energy consumption (UNEP 2000).

• Fully automated cleaning system in a milk processing plant to reduce water and energy usage; e.g. Bonlac Foods, Australia are achieving savings leading to payback of 5 months (Nguyen et al. 2003).

• Reliable instrumentation, such as turbidity meters to identify milk solids concentration, and a combination of temperature, pH and conductivity meters to monitor CIP frequency, effectiveness and chemical loss (Prasad et al. 2004).

• High efficiency boilers, with heat recovery equipment such as economis-ers to recover heat from the flue gases to preheat the boiler water. Fuel consumption can be reduced by 1% for each 4.5 °C reduction in flue temperature (Prasad et al. 2004).

• Mechanical vapour recompression (MVR) evaporators reduce energy consumption compared with thermal vapour recompression (TVR). For example, equipment capable of evaporating 15 000 kg/h skim milk requires 1610 kg/h steam for a 5-effect TVR, 1190 kg/h steam for a 7-effect TVR, while a 1-effect MVR/2-effect TVR requires only 375 kg/h steam plus 150 kW to drive the mechanical compression motor (Niro 2005).

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