Freeze Concentration Technique (FCT)
Title: Layer Freezing in Freeze Concentration Technique (FCT)
Duration: January 2010-September 2011
Prof. S. K. Jabade
Research Project (VIT, Pune, India)
In India (and in most of the tropical countries), jaggery, a sweet edible product, is made out of sugarcane juice. Traditionally, farmers heat up the juice in order to evaporate out the water to get solid jaggery in the end. Though farmers used agricultural wastes to heat this juice, industrialization and competition have brought technologies such as boilers which employ fuels such as diesel. These processes with time have grown into one of the major sources of pollution in the surrounding. Moreover, these modern technologies and fuels siphon out a big part of farmer's income. Freeze Concentration can aptly be the solution.
'Freeze Concentration' is used to separate two phases of a binary liquid such as milk, fruit juices, and alloys. Sugarcane juice—a binary liquid of sucrose (C12H22O11) and water is gradually cooled below the liquidus line; by running over a refrigerated plate where water in the juice crystallizes out as ice, along the liquidus line, up to a eutectic point, and leaves a semi-solid solution with higher concentration (Brix).
Furthermore, Freeze Concentration is an effective energy conservation technology, as the energy needed to freeze out water consumes lesser energy, than boiling it off. The remaining water content from the semi-solid jaggery at the end of the plate is then evaporated out. This entire process needs lesser energy than what otherwise would be required in boiling alone.
During this process, the thermal and physical properties of the fluid change with respect to time and space, both. Therefore, a comprehensive mathematical model (this work was presented at an international conference, MIMT 2011, in Singapore) was developed, using MATLAB, to analyze and study this intricate phenomenon. This model can be used as a handy tool to design an industrial scale system.
The experimentation and validation of this model were carried out using sugarcane as working fluid.
During these experiments, we realized an issue with dis-lodging with ice from the refrigerated plate. An innovative prototype was designed with a mechatronic system with piezo-electric crystals. The new technology is patented (410/MUM/2012)
This work has culminated in two publications and a patent.
A thermos-physical phenomenon was first modeled using MATLAB
A new innovative prototype was designed using mechanical + electronic + piezo-electric crystal (to generate ultrasonic waves).
This model was validated using the experimental setup