Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Low-Grade Energy Dilemma: How Vertical Plate Technology is Solving an Age-Old Problem: A spotlight on Soybean 360 speaker Stan Pala

 Learn about Stan Pala's Soybean 360 presentation | Meet Stan Pala 

Soybean 360 is an international symposium organized by the Soybean Innovation Lab in partnership with AOCS. The symposium's vision is to share better practices and innovations with processors in Sub Saharan Africa and elsewhere, for efficient processing of food in the soybean value chain that meet DINES criteria: Delicious, Inexpensive, Nutritious, Environmentally and culturally sustainable, and Safe. Processors for both human and animal foods can benefit from the research and industry innovations, and networking opportunities available in this symposium. The symposium will occur November 30–December 11 from 8-11 a.m. CST (UTC-06/Chicago, USA). Registration is free for all, including nonmembers.

Leading up to the symposium, AOCS is spotlighting AOCS members participating in the event. This week we are featuring Stan Pala, an AOCS member since 2020. 

Read on to learn more about Stan Pala's Soybean 360 presentation, the biggest problem he encountered in his most recent project, and how he got involved with AOCS.

Stan Pala's Soybean 360 presentation

"The Low-Grade Energy Dilemma: How Vertical Plate Technology is Solving an Age-Old Problem" will be part of the session Efficiencies in Processing and Production on Monday, December 7, 2020.

Presentation description: The transformation of low-grade energy available in most soybean and other common oilseeds processing plants (as waste energy or byproduct) offers a unique opportunity for plants to increase processing margins, reduce overall energy consumption and emissions. However, low-grade energy has historically posed challenges when looking to transform and re-use it in the crushing process. It has also been associated with the need for large heat transfer areas and high associated installation costs.

Vertical plate technology addresses these challenges – first by offering twice as much heat transfer area than traditional tube technology that is currently used in many vertical seed conditioners, and second, doing so within the same volume. The pattern, typical for plates, benefits from high turbulent flow inside the plates. This allows decreasing flow rate in the recovery loop to maximize efficiency of the heat recovery.

Meet Stan Pala

For nearly a decade, Stan has played an integral role in championing Solex Thermal’s efforts within the world’s oilseeds market. Initially focused on canola applications in Canada, he moved to Europe in 2016 where he led the company’s expansion into applications such as rapeseed and sunflower. As global director of oilseeds, Stan is now focused on applying indirect plate heat transfer technology to new regions, as well as developing more robust conditioning, cooling and heat-recovery solutions throughout the oilseeds processing steps.

1) What discoveries from your previous research inform the work you plan to discuss at Soybean 360? 

With more than 60 installations involving conditioning rapeseed, soybean and sunflower conditioners around the world, Solex Thermal has a proven solution that allows for the recovery of waste, low-grade energy. This solution is a relatively simple concept that involves identifying and assessing the source of waste energy, and then matching it with the technology for recovery purposes. 

2) What is the significance of the research you plan to discuss at Soybean 360, either for future research routes or for real-world applications? 

Recovering waste, low-grade energy in oilseeds needs to be well-considered and balanced. The sweet spot between energy recovery efficiency and investment costs ensures a reasonable return on investment. The final concept will define the technology used for recovery. 

3) Describe the biggest problem you encountered and solved during your most recent project? 

Reasonable payback time that is needed to budget and approve the project. While the payback time varies between companies, government or environmental subsidies, this technology can often help to improve the rate at which companies can realize the benefits. That said, this is not the case for all countries where companies still lack the proper support needed to move these important carbon-reducing projects forward.

4) How did you get involved with AOCS? 

Solex has a long-term relationship with AOCS, including as an active member within the Canadian division and as a participant in many of the organization’s educational sessions throughout the year. We appreciate how AOCS provides a common platform for organizations like Solex to communicate with potential processors and share innovative industry solutions. 

5) What excites you most about your work?

Each installation means a reduction in the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into atmosphere. Our work helps create a more sustainable future.

Registration for the symposium is free.

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