When potatoes are washed in an industrial washer the water used for washing becomes contaminated with the material it washes off. Unless the water is clarified it will become so heavily contaminated that the potatoes will not be cleaned sufficiently. In some cases the water can be recirculated for a period but eventually the water needs to be removed and clarified and reused if at all possible.
Centri-Force are experts in the use of high speed industrial centrifuges for clarification of a variety of solid / liquid suspensions and this includes wash water contaminated with soil from potato washers.
After initial screening to remove whole potatoes, or any root vegetable for that matter, the dirty water should be kept agitated then pumped through a decanter centrifuge. Depending upon the quality of separation required chemicals may be required to enhance the decanter performance.
As an alternative to using expensive chemicals a second centrifuge known as a High Speed Disc Stack Separator can be used to polish the water so that it may be reused. In some cases it may be necessary to use some form of sterilisation process before the water can be used again, such as chlorination.
This picture shows a typical skid mounted centrifuge with control panel. The only other equipment required is a dosing system, if required, and a pump to deliver the peel water to the centrifuge; a macerator is also advisable to prevent pump blockage. All of this equipment is easy to operate and runs continuously without supervision. There is no need for complex installations and the whole process can be up and running in a few weeks.
Centri-Force supply a complete range of factory refurbished centrifuges from leading manufacturers that are a cost effective solution ideal for this application. The application itself is now well proven and has been shown to be non aggressive, resulting in low servicing costs and good durability.
A typical maintenance cost is less than 5% per annum of the capital cost.
The principal benefits are economy, quality and environmental. Economic – because the vegetables are washed in a cleaner water supply, the product is cleaner and less fresh water is used, especially if the water is recirculated. Environmental – because the resulting solids discharge from the decanter can be readily disposed of as a top soil without fear of contamination of water courses.
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