Operations and Activities of Milk Plants and Energy Consumption

Dr. Akepati S. Reddy Head, Dept. Analytical Services, TCIRD Assist. Prof., DBTES, Thapar University Patiala (PUNJAB) – 147 004

Flavoured milk Condensed milk Milk powder Processed cream products Butter milk Processed butter Cream

Raw milk Pasteurization Cream separation Yogurt Cheese Skimmed milk powder Sweet whey

Skimmed milk Low-fat milk Casein Whey Whey permeate Milk minerals Lactose Lactose Mother liquor

Butter Ghee

Whey protein concentrate

Milk Plants and Dairy Products

Milk Plant Processes
Core processes
• Process the input milk into different products

Supporting processes
• Boiler and steam distribution system • Electrical power system and DG sets • Chilled water plant and circulating chilled water system • Compressed air and instrumental air system • Cooling tower and circulating cooling water • Water pumping, storage and supply system • Soft water plant or RO water plant or DM water plant • Lighting, ventilation and space heating and cooling • Effluent treatment plant

Core Processes
• Unloading, quality checking, chilling and storing of the received milk • Cream separation and handling of the separated milk sludge • Pasteurization of milk, skimmed milk and even the separated cream • Processing for consumption as milk, flavoured milk, skimmed milk and also as low-fat milk • Processing of milk and skimmed into milk powder • Processing cream into cream based products • Churning the cream, making butter and processing (washing, salting etc.) of butter • Butter melting, ghee boiling and ghee clarification • Butter milk processing (may be into butter milk powder) • Processing serum and ghee residue for fat recovery and then handling and disposal

Core Processes
• Heating and curding of whole milk or skimmed milk
– Renin or acid dosing is required

• Separation and washing (including dewatering) of curd
– When made from whole milk is supplied as cheese or yogurt after desired level of curing/aging – Washed and dewatered curd in case of skimmed milk is used to produce casein through drying, tampering, sorting, milling, etc., operations

• Recovering the liquid portion of the whole milk or skimmed milk as sweet whey or whey
– May be processed into product or disposed as waste – Used as raw material for the manufacture of milk minerals, whey protein concentrate and/or lactose

Core Processes
• Ultra-filtration of whey to separate into whey permeate and whey protein concentrate • Permeate is preheated and milk minerals are precipitated with alkali • Precipitated milk minerals (mineral sludge) is hot washdewatered and dried (in tray driers) • Permeate is concentrated (in multiple effect evaporator) and lactose is recovered from it through crystallization • Retentate (whey protein concentrate) is concentrated (in multiple effect evaporator) and dried (in spray drier) to produce whey protein concentrate

Core Processes
Evaporative concentration of product
• Multiple effect evaporators are used – Either mechanical vapour recompression (MVR) loop or thermal vapour recompression (TVR) loop or combination of the two • Pumping of product through the multiple effect evaporators • Product is preheated in PHEs and tubular heat exchangers prior to loading to the effects – Hot foul condensates and vapours are used • Effect for superheating and concentrating through flashing – Steam or foul vapours are used

Core Processes
• Surface condensers for condensing and removing foul vapours from last effect of the loop
– Circulating cooling water is used

• Mechanical vapour recompressor for replacing the surface condensor and efficient use of heat
– Electrical energy is used

• Steam ejectors for driving out the non-condensable gases
– Super heated steam and cooling water are used Alternatively vacuum pump for driving out the noncondensable gases - electrical power is used

Condensate from MVRs Balancing tank Product To concentrate pump Plate heat exchnager Condensate to drain Non-condensable gases (NCG) to surface condenser

Vapours-2 Tubular preheater-2

Tubular preheater-1 NCG Effect-1 NCG Effect-2 Section-1 Condensate to drain Effect-2 Section-2 Vapour separator Vapour separator

steam Makeup lub oil MVR-2 Lub. oil tank condensate MVR-1 Lub. oil tank Makeup lub oil condensate Gland cooling water tank Excess water overflows Steam for Gland sealing Steam for Gland sealing Cooling water

concentrated product to balancing tank

Effect-2 Section-3

Gland cooling water to various pumps

Balancing tank Foul condensate Product To concentrate


Vapour separator

Tubular Preheater-4



Tubular Preheater-1

NCG steam cooling water

Surface Condenser-2

Steam ejector

Super heated condensate steam Steam ejector Surface Condenser-1 condensate

Effect-1 Section-1 Effect-1 Section-2

Vapour separator

Steam and ejected NCG

Concentrated Product

Effect-2 Section-1 Effect-2 Section-2

steam Vapour separator

Product Balancing tank

Effect-2 Section-3

Core Processes
• Crystallization of lactose from concentrated whey permeate in lactose crystallizer • Separation of crystallized lactose from the mother liquor in a decanter – lactose mother liquor is left behind • Slurrying the separated lactose and washing and decanting to obtain dewatered commercial grade lactose • Dissolving commercial grade lactose in hot water, refining and filtering for obtaining pharma grade lactose • Recrystallizing the refined lactose solution and decanting to obtain dewatered pharma grade lactose • Drying the dewatered crystalline lactose, grinding and shifting to obtain dry powdered lactose

Operations and Activities of Milk Plants involving consumption of energy
Heating, cooling, chilling and pasteurization of the milk (skimmed milk, butter milk, etc.), intermediates (whey, whey protien concentrate, whey permeate, etc.) and products • Mostly plate heat exchangers are used
– Hot water is produced through direct injection of steam in a separate tank and circulated through the PHE as heating medium – Circulating chilled water and/or cooling water is used as chilling/cooling medium

• In case of tubular heat exchangers saturated steam is used as heating medium

Operations and Activities of Milk Plants involving consumption of energy
Storage • Milk, intermediates (skim milk, butter milk, cream, whey, whey permeate, whey protein concentrate) and products
– Stored at refrigeration temperature – Insulated tanks/silos or insulated tanks/silos with chilled water jackets are used – Storage tank contents are often circulated through a plate heat exchanger for chilling with circulating chilled water

• Storage of products specially packaged milk, processed butter, cream and cream products, cheese, etc.
– Deep freezers and refrigerators may be used – Circulating chilling water may also be used for refrigerating the storage space

Operations and Activities of Milk Plants involving consumption of energy
Pumping - processing involves
– Repeated pumping of stored product, preheating, processing, chilling and again storing – Pumping for circulating the stored product through PHE for chilling – Pumping for pressurizing and passing through ultrafiltration units – Pumping for circulating hot water between hot water tanks and PHEs – Pumping may also be associated with CIP in CIP circulation loops

Uses electrical power

Operations and Activities of Milk Plants involving consumption of energy
Casein washing and dewatering
• Hot water is used (steam is injected into the water) • Multistage counter-current washing involving both screening removal of the curd and dewatering the product in decanters is practiced
– Uses electrical power for dewatering in decanters

• Minimizes whey generation and subsequent energy consumption in the evaporator • Effective dewatering in a decanter in the final stage of washing minimizes load on casein drier

Operations and Activities of Milk Plants involving consumption of energy
Product drier
• Blowers to supply air to the drier and to pneumatic conveyance of the product
– uses electrical energy

• Blowers to exhaust hot humid air and the air used for product conveyance
– uses electrical energy

• Radiator heater for heating the air prior to supply to the drier
– uses saturated dry steam

• Dehumidifier for cooling and drying the air for product conveyance
– uses circulating cooling water

Classifier cum manifold Mechanical disintegrator Dewatered casein Air Blower steam Air Filter medium Bucket filter Radiator heater Rotary valve

Cyclone separator


hot humid exhaust vented into atmosphere

Rotary valve Filter Conveyor air blower air

Exhaust air to atmosphere Fluidized bed steam casein cooler Cyclone separator


Chilled water condensate Air Blower Bucket filter De Air humidifier conditioner Chilled water condensate Rotary valve

Dried product

steam Dewatered product from decanter Primary drier steam Secondary drier Radiator heater

condensate Air blower Air filter air

condensate Radiator heater Sec. air blower Air filter Air filter air

steam condensate Roatary Dehumidifier Conveyor valve & conditioner air blower chill water Hot filter Bag house Air for purging Grinding mill Recovered product Cold filter Bag house Air for purging Lactose silo


chill water Vent gases Vent gases Exhaust blower Exhaust Exhaust blower blower Air for Vent gases purging Filter bag house Recovered product Shifter Poly-ply lined bags Lactose packed In ploy-ply bags Packing Filter Bag house Air for purging

Vent gases Exhaust blower

Operations and Activities of Milk Plants involving consumption of energy
Radiator heaters
– Used for heating and supplying hot dry air to the driers (ring dryers, spray driers, tray driers, etc.) for product drying – Saturated dry steam is used for the heating – Heating may be a multistage process – Flash steam of one stage is used as heating in the previous stage

– Used for conditioning the air used for the pneumatic conveyance of dry product – Circulating chilled water is used for cooling, condensing and removal of moisture and producing cool dry air

Operations and Activities of Milk Plants involving consumption of energy
Blowers and fans • Blowers are extensively used for
– Supplying air for product drying in the driers – Pneumatic conveyance of dried product – venting out hot humid air from the driers – Venting out the air used for conveying the product Run on electrical power

• Fans are used in the ventilation systems for venting out hot air from areas like ghee boiling and drier enclosures
Run on electrical power

Operations and Activities of Milk Plants involving consumption of energy
Other operations of energy consumption
• Cream separators – uses electrical power • Cream churning and butter making – uses electrical power • Butter melting – uses saturated dry steam • Ghee boiling – uses saturated dry steam • Serum and ghee residue processing for fat recovery – alternatively uses both hot water and chilled water • Heating of skimmed milk (both before and after curding) – Plate heat exchangers and tubular heat exchangers are used

Operations and Activities of Milk Plants involving consumption of energy
Other operations of energy consumption
• Product cooling prior to finally dewatering the casein in a decanter – circulating chilled water is indirectly used • Whey clarification – powered by electrical energy • Product grinding, sorting, shifting, etc. operations – needs electrical energy • Centrifugal wash dewatering of separated milk mineral sludge
– Both electrical power and hot water are needed – Hot water is made through injecting steam into water

Opportunities and Options for Energy Conservation
Heating in PHEs for pasteurization and otherwise
– Avoiding water hammering associated hot water tank overflows and heat loss – Avoiding direct injection of steam for circulating hot water generation – Use of RAD-heat gas heating element in place of steam

Butter melting
– Shifting from direct steam injection heating to indirect steam coil heating

Heating of milk prior to and during curding
– Replacing use of steam with waste heat energy in the form of foul condensate

Opportunities and Options for Energy Conservation
Hot water for the washing of casein
– Replacing steam with steam condensate of radiator heaters of driers or flash steam from the condensate for the heating of casein wash water

Washwater use for casein washing
– Minimize washwater use to minimize evaporator loads

Steam condensate from the radiator heaters of the driers
– Recovery of flash steam and heat recovery prior to collecting and conveying to the boiler house for use as boiler feed water

Hot humid exhaust air from driers
– Waste heat recovery for pre-heating ambient air entering the radiator heater

Opportunities and Options for Energy Conservation
Hot water for washing the milk mineral sludge
– Prior to supplying to the boiler house, use steam condensate of radiator heaters as heating medium for producing hot water

Foul condensate
– Segregate into less polluted and more polluted streams – Recovery heat from the more polluted stream may be for preheating milk prior to curding, then treat and supply to boiler house as make up boiler feed water – Reuse less polluted foul condensate as casein washwater

Opportunities and Options for Energy Conservation
• Decide about whether MVR loop or TVR loop or both for the evaporative concentration • Decide on whether vacuum pump or steam ejector for handling the non-condensible gases • Gradual cooling of lactose concentrate in crystallizer
– Use of circulating cooling water in place of chilled water in the initial stages

• Hot water for dissolving lactose for refining
– Hot foul condensate in place of hot water generated through using steam

Supporting Processes
• Boiler and steam distribution system • Electrical power system and DG sets • Chilled water plant and circulating chilled water system • Compressed air and instrumental air system • Cooling tower and circulating cooling water • Water pumping, storage and supply system • Soft water plant or RO water plant or DM water plant • Lighting, ventilation and space heating and cooling • Effluent treatment plant

Direct use for heating steam

Flue gases to stack

Indirect use For heating



Condensate at steam traps Condensate drained out Boiler blowdown or not collected Boiler feed Water tank

Steam boiler

Combustion air Fuel Flue gases to stack

Condenstae tank

Pre-heater of Boiler feed Water tank

Soft water/ RO water/DM water

Flue Gases from thermopac boiler

Boiler and steam system

rice husk received in tractors & trucks

Vibratory feeder

larger size foreign materials And dust

treated flue gases into atmosphere through stack

Husk bunker feeding air Air box sec. air flyash FD fan process water for quenching Bottom discarded bed material External boiler furnace

Saturated steam boiler bed material vent flue gases

ID fan

Fire tube boiler

Cyclone/ multiclone

flyash Boiler feed water pumps

blowdown tank Rotary valve (electrical motor Operated)

Flyash quenching

blowdown water to drain vent Conditioning chemiclas


flyash Feed water tank

Return condensate

soft water

Rice husk fired fire tube boiler

Boiler and steam system
Energy is consumed in the boiler and steam system for
• Deaeration • Boiler feed water pumping • Condensate pumping • Fuel processing – screening, pulverizing, preheating, pumping, loading etc. • FD fan and even primary air fan for supplying combustion air • ID fan for pulling flue gases from boiler furance through economizer, air pre-heater and APCD and for pushing through the stack • Powering the machinery associated with the APCD

Electrical power system
Electrical power system
– Sources of power are grid power and captive power from DG sets – Important constituents of a power system are power meters, LT and/or HT panels, capacitor banks, transformers (and rectifiers), power cables and distribution lines, etc. – Electrical power is supplied to various points of use, like drives, heating units, lighting systems, etc. DG sets may require circulating cooling water DG sets generate hot exhaust gases with energy value Batteries are used both in operating the power panels and in the startup of DG sets

Air for combustion Turbo charger HSD HSD day tank Air for combustion Oil pump Lube oil Internal Combustion chambers Lube oil Engine oil reservoir Coolant oil Coolant oil Coolant Oil cooler Cooling water Makeup water Cooling water

Exhaust gases

Exhaust gases Generator/ alternator Lube oil

Cooling tower Cooling tower blowdown

DG set

Return chilled water

Heat exchanger Heat exchanger Heat exchanger

Soft water for makeup Ice bank tanks Refrigerant vapours

pump Liquid refrigerant

Chilled water Consumptive use


Condenser Cooling water

Refrigerant reservoir

Cooling water

Chilled water plant and circulating chilled water system

cooling water cooling water

cooling water cooling Intercooler water

Compressed air and instrumental air system
fresh air Filter

Stage-2 compressor Stage-1 compressn compressn cooling water cooling water Precooler cooling water Electric heater Drier Tower-1 lube oil waste oil Moisture separator cooling water

cooling water Aftercooler cooling water Moisture separator condensate Afterfilter Direr Tower-2

cooling water Aftercooler lube oil compressn compressor

cooling water Filter

Receiver tank compressed dry air

fresh air waste oil

Circulating cooling water Process Cooling system Process Cooling system Process Cooling system Process Cooling system Leaks from circulating water Evaporation losses Consumptive use of cooling water Drift losses distributor

Conditioning chemicals Pump(s)

Cooling tower

Makeup water

Cooling tower Blowdown

Cooling tower and circulating cooling water system

Electrical power for compressors Circulating cooling water for condensers of chilled water plant and for inter-coolers and after coolers of compressed air systems Electrical energy for heating associated with the regeneration of driers Pumps for pumping the circulating chilled water and cooling water Electrical energy for cooling tower fans

Process water

Chlorinating chemical


Water for backwashing

Iron removal

Backwash water

dechlorinating agents


cleaning chemicals

RO process

Wastewater from cleaning Reject water

RO water

RO water plant

process water

backwash water to drain

Pressure sand filter

common salt

regeneration chemical wastewater to drain slow and rapid rinse water backwash water to drain soft water Water softner (resin bed)

Salt tank

process water

Salt dose tank

Soft water plant

Raw water pumping from source Pumping of water through water treatment plants including soft water plant, RO water plant and DM water plant (including backwashing, regeneration and rinsing) Pumping for supply of water to the points of use Electrical energy for the powering of degasifier of DM water plant Pumping of wastewater through the effluent treatment plant and/or sewage treatment plant Electrical energy for aeration; for sludge recycling, wasting and handling; for powering the central rotating mechanisms of primary and/or secondary clarifiers

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