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Nex hygenic cleaning technique - for food production - reducing aerosol problems and water consumption (AEROSOL REDUCTION)

Final Report Summary - AEROSOL REDUCTION (Ney hygienic cleaning technique - for food production - reducing aerosol problems and water consumption)

The food, agricultural and water industry use water under high pressure against contamination, microorganisms and bacteria and consume important amounts of water and energy at a global scale. However, many individuals suffer from poisoning or contamination due to hygiene problems and contamination from aerosols. Therefore, among the European and global goals is the increase of cleaning efficiency and the reduction of water consumption in the abovementioned sectors.

the principal goal of the AEROSOL REDUCTION project was to provide European food and medical industry with a dry pre-cleaning system as a replacement for the existing water wasting systems. Moreover, the project aimed to solve the technical problems that arose during the development of dry cleaning systems. In order to achieve these operational objectives numerous technical goals had to be met, including:

1. minimisation of pump energy losses due to friction and flow resistance
2. minimisation of energy losses due to vacuum flow in case necessary
3. the development of a pump that would render flow maintenance possible despite resistance
4. the design of a nozzle that would be either self-adjustable or easy to switch for different needs
5. the proposal of a pump system with short reaction time for changes in the usage or of a system with energy reservoirs capable to fill in during switches
6. the development of a vacuum cleaner equipped with state of the art battery technology.

Firstly, studies and tests on vacuum capacity were performed and the manufacturing frame of a mobile system was prepared. Secondly, a separation and filtration technique was developed and the air quality in the vacuum system was tested. It occurred that no water was necessary to sufficiently reduce friction within the system. As a result, a working vacuum cleaner including many of the desirable functions was designed. Field tests demonstrated very promising results and the involved end users had great expectations regarding the product.

Moreover, the occurrence of aerosols in food processing plants was investigated and a system for their minimisation was designed. The results were interesting for small applications, such as filter units, but could not be exploited in larger volumes, therefore relevant research ceased.

The proposed solutions and products were evaluated through laboratory and field tests by both the project consortium and end users. Three prototype versions were prepared for that purpose. The successfully developed system was anticipated to be sold in food and pharmaceutical industries, starting from the United Kingdom and northern Europe. The market of this system appeared to be very large; therefore the technology was very promising in terms of commercial exploitation potential.