From PET bottles to electronic equipment – plastics are everywhere today and our everyday lives would be inconceivable without them. With the rising number of possibilities and fields of application, the demand for greater sustainability has long since reached the plastics industry as well. However, the considerate use of resources is not only intended to protect the environment but also represents a tremendous economic added value for the customer. This not only pays off in the longevity of the products themselves – improved energy efficiency is also worthwhile from a financial perspective. That is why Leister counts on its outstanding innovativeness and purposefully invests in sustainable research and development that is fit for the future. Leister is presenting the results of this intensive innovation process at this year’s K trade fair. Here the hot air recycling of industrial process heat, where Leister sees tremendous potential, deserves special attention since it can save significant amounts of energy and therefore also reduce costs.
Leister’s Process Heat business line is going to demonstrate this principle at the K trade fair with a practical example. Popcorn is being produced at exhibition stand 11 D 22 using hot air recycling. Visitors can observe live how kernels of corn turn into popcorn and see the benefits of such efficient hot air recycling for themselves on site.
But what is behind the idea to implement a hot air recycling circuit? Heating a volume of air to a desired temperature requires energy. The lower the temperature difference between the air intake and discharge temperature, the less energy the process requires. Previously heated air is recirculated in order to minimize the additional energy required.
However, the devil is in the details with this clever air return, since every component in the system has to meet correspondingly high standards so that hot air can be recycled. Both the blowers and air heaters on the air intake side have to withstand high temperatures. “Our products are so well suited for hot air recycling mainly because they are designed to be heat-resistance,” explains Oliver Hinz, Product Manager Process Heat.
Leister developed its highly robust radial blower recirculation (RBR) for this purpose, thereby putting a true recycling specialist among blowers into the race. With it and the corresponding, matching double flange air heaters, air with a temperature of up to 350°C can be easily transported, reheated and recirculated.
Since hot air recycling is universal in application, the chances are excellent that it will establish itself in the plastics industry as well as other sectors.
Leister not only emphasizes the importance of sustainability with this innovation but also proves that mature technology is able to provide customers with added value from a financial perspective as well.