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The International magazine for the aquaculture feed industry
F: Pellet uniformity
F: Pellet uniformity
Energy efficiency improving and pellet uniformity control in the extrusion of aquafeed
To substantially improve extruder performance in aquafeed production, in recent years Muyang Group made extensive research efforts into five aspects of extrusion and gained some key achievements: to increase energy efficiency of the extruder, to enhance pellet uniformity, to lengthen the service life of wear parts, to increase production rate for sinking aquafeeds as well as that of micro-aquafeed, among which, the energy efficiency improving technology and its application as well as the development on pellet uniformity control will be introduced in this article.
Figure 1: Stabilised shearing vs hasty shearing
Figure 2: SPTZ Complex Conditioner vs SCTZ DDC Conditioner
an extruder can increase the capacity by 15 percent with an energy savage of 12 percent per tonne of feed.
Method to maximise STE utilisation
Aquafeed mash needs to be pre-cooked in the conditioner with hot steam before entering into the extruder chamber for extrusion. How to maximise the utilisation of thermal energy from a given amount of steam, to improve the gelatinization of aquafeed mash in the conditioner, has been
by Ma Liang, Zhang Kuiyang, Mi Changyu, Zhang Wenliang, Muyang R&D Center, China
ow did Muyang increase energy efficiency of the extruder system?... ...With the development of extrusion technology, one of the development trends in aquafeed milling is that the extruder is taking the place of pellet mill and becoming the most popular and most efficient milling machine because of its flexible production adaptability, high product quality and high sanitation assurance.
segment (including conveying, shearing and mixing abilities) and testing the effects of different screw combinations, Muyang’s extruder research team found out the optimal screw configuration that can achieve proper SEM input for a given aquafeed production task. Based on above mentioned studies and a perceptual as well as rational knowledge of extrusion technology, Muyang’s extrusion team worked out a new concept - “stabilised shearing”. Method to maximise Usually, the whole extrusion process SME utilisation that material undergoes, from being fed However, the obstacle impeding extrudFirst of all, the approach was studied to into the extruding chamber up to being er popularisation is energy input, which match the SEM input with that required for extruded out of the die plate, is a ‘hasty must be decreased. material ripening. shearing’ process accompanied by high As we all know, sufficient energy is If lower than that required, the input pressure, high power consumption and required to put into the extrusion system SME could not ripen the material sufhigh wearing of working parts, and also to sustain the whole extrusion process, ficiently even though it would result in unconstant discharge of extrudates. from material conditioning to kneading, higher production capacity, and vice versa. The stabilised shearing technology shearing, cooking, extruding, forming and Therefore, only proper SME input can brought by Muyang Group can largely stafinally obtaining qualified aquafeed. guarantee high quality extruded aquafeed bilise the shearing efficiency in the whole Essentially, the input energy is normally while maximising production capacity. extrusion process (see Figure 1). The defined in two forms: the specific mechaniBy quantifying the abilities of each screw optimal screw configuration cal energy (SME) and the Table 1: SPTZ Complex Conditioner vs SCTZ DDC Conditioner can not only impart to the specific thermal energy extrusion process a proper (STE). SPTZ series Complex SCTZ series DDC Conditioner Conditioner SME input but also ensure the Analyzing the energy product gelatinisation not less inputs that are required than that of the ‘hasty shearing for cooking raw recipe Filling degree 55~60% 30~35% technology’. components, there are Conditioning time (s) 180~200 40~45 It has been proven that, three possible ways to Gelatinization 50~55% 35~40% when producing aquafeed with improve energy efficiency Remarks With the same effective volume and capacity stabilised shearing technology, of an extrusion system,
18 | InternatIOnal AquAFeed | September-October 2011 September-October 2011 | InternatIOnal AquAFeed | 19
the focus of Muyang’s research efforts over many years. The moisture and heat of steam is hard to penetrate into the core of feed mash particles and ‘cook’ them just by the simple physical mixing function of a conventional conditioner, especially for the oil-rich aquafeed mash. That means more steam and longer conditioning time has to be given in order to achieve high mash gelatinisation. Targeting the goal of improving steam utilisation and enhancing feed gelatinisation,
Muyang has invented the ‘reinforced conditioning technology’, which can improve the mass and heat transfer efficiency and uniformity of steam effectively. In addition, Muyang has innovated the SPTZ series Complex Conditioner by combining the reinforced conditioning technology with a Muyang SCTZ DDC Conditioner, which achieves excellent conditioning performance (see Table 1 and Figure 2). Besides, the production capacity of an extrusion system equipped with a SPTZ
that is, to increase production capacity while decrease the power consumption. They are: 1) Improve the utilization efficiency of SME 2) Improve the utilization efficiency of STE 3) Try to input and utilize most STE from the relatively cheaper source steam to substitute some SME input
F: Pellet uniformity
Figure 3: The causes of non-uniform feed mash during extruding
Table 2: Test result of MY120×2 Ⅰ twin-screw extruder
F: Pellet uniformity
Nonuniform shearing force Different flow rate
Nonuniform ripeness Different ripening time
Nonuniform gelatinization Nonuniform gelatinization
Nonuniform expansion character Nonuniform expansion character
Nonuniform extruded pellets Nonuniform extruded pellets
Die hole (mm)
5.0 1.0 3.0
Main motor power (kW)
200 200 200
Load factor (%)
68 65.55 31.28
7.689 3.479 3.714
Floating / Sinking rate (%)
100 100 99.65
1 2 3
Floating fish feed Floating fish feed Sinking fish feed
Note: The capacity was calculated on the basis of that the aquafeed pellets were dried to a moisture content of 10 percent
Complex Conditioner is able to increase by 10-15 percent compared to that with a common DDC conditioner, because of the thorough pre-cooking function in the conditioning process. Furthermore, the enhanced pre-cooking could bring in more stable running of the machine and less wear of the working parts such as the segmented screws and extruding chamber liner, which alternatively is saving maintenance cost.
feed mash is determined by conditioner pressure. For instance, conditioned by saturated steam, the highest conditioning temperature that feed mash can achieve is 100℃ under 0.1MPa while can reach 164.19℃ under 0.6MPa. Therefore, on one hand, to make full use of steam thermal energy under ambient condition and on the other hand to optimise the conditioning pressure and maximise the steam energy utilisation.The more the steam
Figure 4: Non uniform flow rate vs uniform flow rate
Substitute SME with steam thermal energy
As we all know, the same energy in steam thermal form is far cheaper than that in electric power form. And the SME input to a running extruder always comes from electric power supply. What if some part of the required electric power is substituted with steam thermal energy? The production cost of aquafeed will be decreased significantly! During cooking, the amount of steam thermal energy utilised by
energy being utilised by feed mash, the less the SME required for extrusion. The ‘substituting SME with steam thermal energy’ technology is widely used in Muyang extruders and has been proven to be an effective and economic way.
How did Muyang control pellet uniformity in aquafeed extrusion?
Good pellet uniformity and pleasing appearance are the important and attractive characters for high quality aquafeed. H o w e v e r , the relationship between good pellet uniformity and high production capacity is hard to balance, just like you can’t have your cake and eat it too, especially for the singlescrew extruder. As the production capacity increases, the pellet uniformity declines.
Usually, good pellet uniformity can be gained when the extruder is running at 70~80 percent of its rated load. Essentially, the non-uniform extruded pellets are generated by materials lacking homogeneity in the whole feed milling process. From grinding to mixing, conditioning, extruding and forming, material’s lack of proper homogeneity in any of these processes will finally cause nonuniform extruded pellets. Fortunately, material homogeneity in the grinding, mixing and conditioning processes is easy to be controlled with available techniques. The most challenge is to control feed mash homogeneity during extruding. What are the causes of nonuniform feed mash during extruding (see Figure 3)? 1) Nonuniform shearing force: The more difference of shearing force brought by extruding screw stressing on feed mash, the more nonuniform gelatinisation and the more non-uniform pellet finally achieved. 2) Different flow rate: Flow rate of feed mash during extruding could be different in two zones - the screw zone
and the non-screw zone (between the end of screw and the die plate). The different flow rate of feed mash in the extruder will cause different ripening time, and different gelatinisation as well as different pellets quality accordingly. For a normal extruder, the difference of shearing force and that of flow rate are related to production capacity. The larger the actual capacity that is close to the rated value, the bigger the difference of shearing force and that of flow rate. In view of above impacting factors, Muyang has developed the so called ‘turbulent flow extruding technology’ to control pellet uniformity in aquafeed extrusion (see Figure 4).
Wenger_AQ_210x147mm 5/27/11 11:17 AM
It is applied to well distribute the shearing force in the screw zone and to unify the flow rate in both the screw zone and the non-screw zone (between end of screw and die plate) in an extruder chamber. The turbulent flow extruding technology can help extruder (especially the single-screw extruder) perform outstandingly in aquafeed production.
MY120×2 Ⅰ Twin-screw Extruder in November 2009. With many sets reliably running in customers' feed mills for more than one year, the MY120×2 Ⅰ Twin-screw Extruder has been proven to perform well in energy efficiency improving and pellet uniformity control.
Application of Muyang innovations
By integrating the stabilised shearing technology and the reinforced conditioning technology as well as the turbulent flow extruding technology in one extruder, Muyang rolled out the
Muyang Group No.1 Muyang Road Hanjiang Industrial Park Yangzhou ,Jiang su, 225127 China Tel: +86 514 87848880 Website: www.muyang.com
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Inventing the new original since 1935.
At Wenger, we innovate to solve customer challenges. And then we do it again.
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Figure 5: Uniform extruded aquafeed pellets
20 | InternatIOnal AquAFeed | September-October 2011
September-October 2011 | InternatIOnal AquAFeed | 21
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Innovations for a better world.
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