Case studies

Efficient mango drying

Client: Fullwell Mill

Consultant: Dr David Howey, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Expertise: Sustainable energy solutions

Our consultants shared their exertise in sustainable energy solutions in helping global fair-trade company Fullwell Mill to increase energy efficiency of their mango production process.

 

The Challenge

Fullwell Mill supply organic and fair trade fruit and nuts to major UK supermarkets and have a number of factories across the globe.

Dried mango is one of their staple products and the drying process is unique to each country the fruit is grown in. In Burkina Faso, a major African exporter of mangos, the fruit must be dried by passing hot air, produced by burning butane gas, into chambers.

They approached Dr David Howey about a project to increase the energy efficiency of their mango-drying ovens. Their desire to be not just fair-trade but also environmentally sustainable, had recently helped them win a grant from Comic Relief to develop eco-friendly processes and this grant funded this consultancy project.

 

The Solution

Dr Howey calculated the efficiency of the mango-drying ovens and suggested methods to combat any heat loss through the walls and chimney.

 

Dr Howey explains:

Whilst the original oven design is quite simple, the calculations to determine the heat loss were a bit more involved. […] Any suggested modifications also had to take into account the resources available in a country like Burkina Faso. It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to apply my research to a real-world problem like this one.

David Howey Dr
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London

 

The Impact

 

Adam Brett, the Director of Fullwell Mill, comments:

We were very pleased with the report provided and the professional and efficient way in which the project was handled. We’ve now got a clear route forwards for improving the efficiency of one of our major processes.

Adam Brett Director
Fullwell Mill

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