Energy efficiency in the Dairy Industry - Analysis of CIP systems



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Increasing the energy efficiency of the industrial sector has the potential to significantly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the burning of fossil fuels and the operating costs. The production of dairy products is a major industrial sector in Denmark and Europe and represents one of the most energy-intensive industries within the food sector. In Denmark, 20 % of the agricultural exports are dairy products and a total of 4.7 billion kg of raw milk are processed, resulting in export revenues of 1.8 billion Euro.

The processing of milk at the dairy site consists of several thermal steps, such as pasteurization, sterilization and cooling. The equipment, e.g. heat exchangers, pipes and tanks, need to be regularly cleaned to guarantee a hygienic production and to reduce fouling in heat exchangers. Modern dairy sites use an automated cleaning procedure, called Cleaning in Place (CIP). Some analyses show that CIP can account for 10- 25 % of a dairy factories thermal energy use.  However, detailed information on the energy use of the CIP procedures are often not available and the CIP system is often not integrated with the production. This project aims at filling this knowledge gap and create methods to determine energy use in CIP systems based on available information.

The specific aims of the project are to:

(i) create new, empirically retrieved, knowledge of the energy use in a CIP system,

(ii) develop a method to establish key performance indicators, which can be used for local and Danish CIP systems and procedures,

(iii) determine possibilities for reducing energy use in the analysed CIP system and procedure, and at end

(iv) to evaluate and quantify (technical and economically) energy optimization measures.

To achieve this goal a detailed energy mapping of a representative CIP system needs to be performed, which includes the mapping of mass and energy flows, temperatures, CIP procedures, as well as losses in the system.

The tasks is to be performed by one or two students, will first consist of the planning, performance and evaluation of measurements at a dairy site. Furthermore, required data/ information needs to be identified and gathered from the project partners and CIP systems. Based on this data and information, detailed energy end use and thermodynamic models need to be developed and validated. Methods such as pinch analysis and process integration may be applied to find optimization potentials, which are quantified and evaluated, based on private-economic analyses.

Based on the students’ interest, the project can further include elements, such as: Pinch analysis and process integration; Modelling of heat exchangers and thermal storages; Feasibility studies; Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis;

The scientific focus of the project can be discussed and any suggestions from students are very welcome.

The master thesis project will be carried out in close collaboration with industrial partners from the energy consultancy (Viegand Maagøe), the dairy industry (Arla Foods) and supplier (ECOLAB). The candidate will be supervised and supported by members of the Section for Thermal Energy at the Mechanical Engineering department at DTU.

The students are required to have a strong background in thermodynamics and energy engineering. Knowledge about pinch analysis, heat exchanger networks, energy efficiency and industrial production is beneficial. As the work will be in close collaboration with several industrial partners, the students are required to show a high level of organisational and communication skills (e.g. organise project meetings, factory visits, organising data collection and measuring program with industrial partners). 

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