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Tartaric Acid Production Plant

WHAT IS TARTARIC ACID

A tartaric acid production plant is used to extract this natural antioxidant molecule that you find in fruits, especially in grapes. It was isolated in the 19th century by G.I. Hayyan who separated it from potassium tartrate. The industrial use component by now, however, is produced from the grape skins, final scrap of the production wine process.

WHAT IS IT FOR? – PROPERTIES OF USE

The tartaric acid has various fields of application in the wine, cosmetics and food. Being an effective acidity batcher, the acid can be added in wine to reduce the pH at will, or still can be useful to change the color, or confer a particular flavor. It is then a useful adjustment instrument for wine.
Even in cosmetics field tartaric acid is widely used because of its antioxidant and lightening benefits: is the parent of many anti-aging, nutrient or exfoliating creams.
In the culinary field, this component is used to adjust the acidity of food or drink, as well as for sweets, pastries etc .; Also in the medical field it is used, such as in the preparation of digestive substances.

PRODUCTION PROCESS

From the grapes process is generated the dreg, a by-product which can manifest itself in liquid or solid state: in the latter case the substance should be pre-treated through a grinding operated by a cutting mill and further fermented together with the liquid component . The substance coming out is filtered and transferred to distillation; at this point the vinasse is used to extract calcium tartrate, which is obtained in crystalline form after the decay of potassium bitartrate with carbonate and calcium chloride. After being introduced in special cyclones, dried and sieved, the product is ready to undergo subsequent treatments, divided into four phases: the attack / preparation, continuous concentration, discontinuous concentration and drying.

Attack/preparation

On a series of agitated vats you start the decomposition of calcium tartrate: water and sulfuric acid are introduced and subsequently is added calcium tartrate.
At this stage the sulfuric acid decomposes the calcium tartrate in tartaric acid, which remains in solution, and calcium sulphate which precipitates.
This slurry is then filtered with vacuum filters that separate the solid from the liquid.
The solid part is washed with water in order to remove all the tartaric acid present and through ribbons is initiated on the appropriate square waiting to be disposed, according to the regulations.
The obtained liquid of red color (which contains water, tartaric acid and sulfuric acid) is put to decant in settling tanks, in which deposits a small part of sulphates not trapped by the filters.

Continuous concentration

In this phase, the solution is concentrated with the vacuum continuous concentrators, to obtain a density of about 30% of tartaric acid, and you put the solution again in the settling tanks for a second decantation.
The decanted solution is sent to a subsequent continues concentration until obtaining a suspension of crystal and mother liquors very dense with about 70% of tartaric acid. This is sent in crystallisers, vats agitated and cooled, to ensure that the crystal diameter increases and becomes more resistant to be able to be centrifuged.

Once cooled to optimum temperature starts the step of separation with a centrifuge machine in which it separates the tartaric acid crystals from the mother liquor.
The tartaric acid in this state (crude) is dissolved in water with steam at a concentration of 30% and then sent to the discoloration vats, while the mother liquors are stored waiting for second concentration.

From the second concentration is always obtained a suspension which is initiated to the crystallizer, while the crystal continues as that of the first concentration, the mother liquors of second concentration are sent to one of the attack vats to be regenerated.
A suspension of calcium carbonate is added to neutralization until reforming the calcium tartrate, water is washed and removed with a filter, tartrate is transformed again in tartaric acid with sulfuric acid, while the washing water are sent to purification.

The tartaric acid solution started to discoloration vats is added with activated carbon plant for bleach and fossil meal to help filtration.
This stirred solution is left to decolorize few hours, and then is sent to a filter plate where the solid parts are retained (coal and fossil meal), while the liquid part already decolorized, is sent in a special tank.
From this, the decolorized solution is sent to a resins decationizzation plant, in which is held the potassium remained in solution.

Discontinuous concentration

In this phase the decolorized liquid is taken, is concentrated with a discontinuous concentrator under vacuum (in betch) to obtain a density of about 70% of tartaric acid, after which it is transferred into a crystallizer.
Once cooled to the temperature set, the crystal separation phase begins: for this operation is used an automatic centrifuge in which the product is washed with water.
The mother liquors obtained from the first centrifugation are again initiated to the concentration step, retracing the steps above described. The mother liquor obtained from the second centrifugation are started to the discoloration.

Drying

The finished product  is conveyed to a hopper via a metering device, which through a continuous doser, feeds a vapor heated air dryer, which removes the remaining moisture.
At the exit of the dryer there is a roller mill, which breaks up any lumps formed during the drying phase.
The tartaric acid so treated is sent with a pneumatic transport to a sieving plant to select the marketable particle sizes and store them in silos before being packaged.
Given that tartaric acid finds also a good utilization in the construction industry as a technical product, is prepared in the design stage and subsequently made, a special area in which it is micronized and added with an anti-packaging substance.

At this point, the substance resulting from the tartaric acid production plant, is ready to be used in all the various fields described above; You transformed a seemingly useless product in an interesting re-use and gain opportunity.

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Paesi Serviti

SMEA Engineering srl - Via Tabellione Lorenzo 1, 47890 San Marino (RSM) - Tel.: 0549.904547 - Email: info@smea-srl.com - C.O.E. SM22124