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Electro-Kinetic Technology as a Low-Cost Method for Dewatering Food By-Product

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sing Ng, Dr John Lamont-Black, Dr Jean Hall, Professor Stephanie Glendinning


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Increasing volumes of food waste, intense environmental awareness, and stringent legislation have imposed increased demands upon conventional food waste management. Food by-products that were once considered to be without value are now being utilized as reusable materials, fuels, and energy in order to reduce waste. One major barrier to the valorization of food by-products is their high moisture content. This has brought about the necessity of dewatering food waste for any potential re-use for certain disposal options. A laboratory system for experimentally characterizing electro-kinetic dewatering of food by-products was evaluated. The bench scale system, which is an augmented filter press, was used to investigate the dewatering at constant voltage. Five food by-products (brewer's spent grain, cauliflower trimmings, mango peel, orange peel, and melon peel) were studied. The results indicated that electro-kinetic dewatering combined with mechanical dewatering can reduce the percentage of moisture from 78% to 71% for brewer's spent grain, from 77% to 68% for orange peel, from 80% to 73% for mango peel, from 91% to 74% for melon peel, and from 92% to 80% for cauliflower trimmings. The total moisture reduction showed a correlation with electrical conductivity (R-2 = 0.89). The energy consumption of every sample was evaluated and was found to be up to 60 times more economical compared to thermal processing.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ng SK, Plunkett A, Stojceska V, Ainsworth P, Lamont-Black J, Hall J, White C, Glendenning S, Russell D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Drying Technology

Year: 2011

Volume: 29

Issue: 14

Pages: 1721-1728

Print publication date: 29/08/2011

ISSN (print): 0737-3937

ISSN (electronic): 1532-2300

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Inc.


DOI: 10.1080/07373937.2011.602199


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