In this issue ofProcess Heating, we bring you a lineup of articles intended to educate you about your process equipment, help you evaluate your choices, and then help you elect the option best suited to your needs.

First up is “Know Your Inputs” by Steve Jaasund of the Geoenergy Division of A.H. Lundberg Associates, Bellevue, Wash. As Jaasund cautions, system inputs define regenerative thermal oxidizer operation. So, the best way to optimize performance is to understand your oxidizer inputs: your fuel, your VOC-laden gas stream to be oxidized, and the particulate in that stream. Even in so-called particulate-free streams, there is always some particulate matter in an emission stream, Jaasund asserts. The quantity may be negligible, but it is present, and must be addressed in the oxidizer design to optimize performance.

A thorough understanding of its pasteurization processes helped one almond processor take an unconventional yet effective approach to cooling and drying its products. “Nutty Ideas Pay Off,” a case history from Milburn, N.J.-based Kason Corp., explains how Hilltop Ranch, a top 10 almond processor based in Ballico, Calif., implemented circular fluid-bed drying systems to dry and cool its almonds post-pasteurization. Without cooling and drying, the steam-treated nuts would become too soft and have a shorter shelf-life. Selecting circular systems allowed Hilltop to achieve effective drying and cooling in half the floor space that more conventional units would have required.

In “Bean Cuisine Machine,” Jim McMahon, a technology writer based in Simi Valley, Calif., details the evolution of dried bean hydration and blanching systems. McMahon notes that as the flexible packaging trend has spread throughout the food processing industry, so has the demand for a fully hydrated and cooked bean obtained through continuous blanching. He describes the technologies used and how managing time and temperature affects final product quality.

Heat and temperature play a critical role in nearly all process applications, and plastics is no exception. In “Water, Water Everywhere,” Pat Klingberg of AEC Inc., Wood Dale, Ill., asserts that handling water management issues is a critical step in setting up any effective plastics process. As Klingberg notes, water’s involvement is critical in maintaining consistent resin temperatures, plasticating rates, mold temperatures and cycle times. Klingberg looks at water recycling using a cooling tower or central chiller to close the loop between the process and the water source. The choice depends on what temperatures are required to properly control the process, he explains.

Finally, in “So Many Heat Exchangers, So Little Time,” Michael Maletta with GF Piping Systems, Tustin, Calif., acknowledges that when selecting a heat exchanger to solve heating or cooling process needs, there are many options and variables to consider. Determining the heat exchanger style and material that are optimal for an application should be the first and most important step, he says. To evaluate that effectively, the fluid, thermal performance, temperature and pressure limits, pressure drop, fluid flow capacity, maintenance issues and expansion plans must all be considered.

Linda Becker
Associate Publisher & Editor