Pellet Mills and Pulp Reclaim Project at East Grand Forks
Joel Downs, Engineering Superintendent, East Grand Forks Factory
The new pellet mill station, hammer mill, and pulp reclaim system at American Crystal Sugar Company’s East Grand Forks factory went online on August 21, 2016. This new equipment will allow the factory to significantly increase the amount of pulp that is pelletized and improve the environment in the pellet mill and pulp dryer areas.
The pellet mills and a hammer mill were purchased from Andritz Sprout in Muncy, PA. This is the same company that built the old pellet mills that were removed as part of the project. Three new pellet mills were installed and each mill has enough capacity such that two mills can handle the dry pulp from the factory while one mill is offline for routine maintenance.
With this added capacity, the East Grand Forks factory now has the ability to reclaim pressed pulp that goes outside when a factory upset occurs. Previously this pulp had to be hauled offsite and land applied or given away. Having the ability to bring this pulp back into the factory and make saleable pellets out of it increases factory revenue.
The hammer mill will be used to size dry pulp before it is pelletized, this is especially important when the factory is slicing frozen beets. During frozen beet conditions the beets are sliced into thick slabs, these slabs do not pelletize very easily. Decreasing the size of the slabs decreases the wear on the pellet mills, which decreases pellet mill maintenance costs and downtime.