Effect of Co-flowing Vapor during Vertical Falling-film Evaporation
Journal article, 2016
A large number of industrial processes use falling-film evaporation to concentrate liquid products. This technology allows for small temperature differences during operation and is often significantly more energy efficient than other techniques. When processing dairy products, a reduction in the solvent fraction results in an increased product viscosity and may thus result in non-Newtonian features. The interaction between a co-flowing vapor that is produced during the evaporation process and the falling film is an important feature of the process. Few studies have accurately studied the effect of co-flow on evaporative falling films at high solid contents. In this work, an experimental study of the influence of co-flowing vapor on the heat transfer coefficient for a dairy product is presented as a function of both the solid content (from 10 to 50%) and the mass flow rate of the feed. The experimental set-up, consisting of a unique industrial pilot-scale evaporator, provides the possibility of obtaining results useful for realistic industrial conditions. An analytical approach that enables the simultaneous evaluation of heat transfer in every experimental condition, e.g., for Newtonian or non-Newtonian fluids and with or without co-flowing vapors, is presented.
falling film evaporation