An Austrian SME has developed a vertically driven agitator without rotation, which includes a mixing disk. It allows for optimal stirring of liquids, suspensions, slurries and mashes. Even in large tanks (>10m³) different viscosity/temperature/pH zones can be quickly homogenized with little energy effort (saving costs).The company is looking for partners in other potential areas of application for licence, technical cooperation and manufacturing agreements.
The Austrian company is active in the brewing industry. When faced with the challenge of installing an agitator in a 5,000 litre tank for a 200-300 cp mash (suspension of milled malt) with very little electrical power available, the company was unable to find the necessary technology. A normal rotating agitator was unsuitable requiring too much electrical power and having bigger shear force on the particles. Given that there was nothing suitable available on the market for mixing big vessels in a better and more cost effective way, they developed it themselves. The proposed system is a new, robust, non-rotating, vertically moved agitator from the top or the side of a tank. It works on the basis of displacement, under-pressure and downward-flow of the product stream. The goal of mixing in any industry is to thoroughly combine different materials to produce a homogenous mix. The quality of the end product is very dependent on mixing performance and a number of factors need to be taken into consideration: - good suspension of different particle sizes and densities - fast heat transfer - fast bottom up homogenisation - as little shear force as possible A well-mixed product will avoid segregation of hotter and colder processing water, optimise the flow of solids, ensure faster heat transfer thus reducing blending times and enable faster determination of the correct temperature, pH, etc. A poorly mixed product on the other hand can create significant costs. The agitating tool developed by the Austrian company is a stainless steel disk fixed on a piston, which is moved up-and-down by a pneumatic cylinder (the frequency can range from 1 move/10 seconds to 1 move per day).The disk (approx. 1/3 of the tank's diameter) is fitted with nozzles, which produce a speedy flow inside the tank. Several disks in approx. 1 m intervals allow for a short cylinder in relation to the tank's height. Several such agitator systems can operate in parallel in tanks with a large diameter. The product to be mixed is handled in a more gentle way and mixing is done at low energy rates, thus producing cost savings. While the Austrian company is using this technology in a brewing context, they are interested in exploring application scenarios in different fields such as fermentation, paper and any processing industry with mixing requirements, which should produce consistent high quality at low costs. The company would like to licence the technology to interested partners, to enter into technical cooperation with a view to exploring new application areas or to find manufacturing partners who are in a position to adapt the production of the agitator for new application fields.
Type (e.g. company, R&D institution…), field of industry and Role of Partner Sought:
The company is keen to move beyond the brewing industry with this technology and is looking for application expertise in agitating and mixing in various industrial (medium and large-scale) processes such as: Paper & pulp Paints, fillers, pigments Food & beverages Fermentation/biogas/wastewater Refinery Chemical The Austrian company is looking for organisations with mixing and agitation needs who are interested in licencing the technology. In addition, partners who can identify agitation and homogenisation problems in various industries for which the proposed system would be an excellent solution are sought, with a view to entering into technical cooperation with these partners. Manufacturing partners with the necessary expertise to produce the agitator following adaptations for new areas of application are also welcome.
Stage of Development:
Available for demonstration
Comments Regarding Stage of Development:
The system is in full operation for 3 years in a brewery to homogenise temperature and pH in a mash of 200-300 mp viscosity and also in a hot water tank with segregation problems and cylinder conical fermenters with sensitive yeast cells. Current tank sizes are: 1,000, 5,000 and 10,000 litres.
Patents granted,Trade Marks
Comments Regarding IPR Status:
Austrian patent granted in 2015 Applications for EP, USA, China, India in progress