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Pneumatic cleaning and separation system for sugarcane and other agricultural products


The main objective of this proposal is to develop a new stationary industrial system capable of receiving sugarcane or other agricultural feedstocks integrally harvested, e.g. containing stalks, straw and mineral impurities, and of separating these components through pneumatic transport lines to the subsequent processing equipment. Contrasting with the current systems, based on the aerodynamic drag force, our proposition makes use of the Saffman lift force in pneumatic conveying lines as the working principle promoting separation among different constituents of the particulate. This characteristic represents the main innovation element. Its application will enable the development a very simple separation system, without moving parts such as rotating sieves and transportation belts, and, consequently, to reach high energetic efficiencies and operational robustness. Among other positive impacts, a separation system with such characteristics will render technically viable the so called integral harvesting technique what will drastically reduce the cost of agricultural feedstock to the corresponding value adding industrial units. The main technological risks are derived from the material to be processed, i.e. sugarcane end/or energy cane. Therefore it is necessary to demonstrate that this new pneumatic cleaning and separation technology is effective and possesses advantages over the technologies currently in partial use in the sugarcane sector. To accomplish this, it is our intention to build a pilot system to be tested in field conditions representing the industrial reality. (AU)

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