Oat Bran Fiber Filter

September 14, 2006

It was at the Minnesota SunOpta plant that our first commercial success was finally achieved with oat bran by-products. The dewatering technology used at the facility involves a belt press. The filtrate flow from this belt press contains a significant amount of bran fibers. These were overloading the Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP).

A Fiber Filter was installed to filter the flow from the belt press. Using a medium range 43-micron sleeve, a significant amount of fiber was recovered. This resulted in an important reduction in the loading at the WWTP.

Financial justification became possible by making this a sanitary installation. The belt press operates under sanitary conditions, and these same conditions were applied to the Fiber Filter. As a result, the fiber sludge that is separated by the Fiber Filter can be salvaged. This fiber is added to the cake from the belt press. The improved yield that results is sufficient to justify the Fiber Filter.

As with our work at pumpkin canneries, reducing load at the WWTP was justified only because the commercial value of the by-product fiber was recognized.

Issue 178