Lime Deposits in Process Plant

IQCITRUS in Mexico produces various citrus derivatives from locally grown fruits in several production lines. These mainly include juices, essential oils and peels.

Scale particles in cleaning system found

During the continuous quality control of their end products, traces of impurities were occasionally found. These were particles from lime and corrosion deposits. If such deposits were found, the entire production batch had to be discarded, resulting in significant losses.

The cause was identified as the Cleaning in Place system. Both the washing tank and the associated water-steam heat exchanger showed heavy lime deposits of over one millimeter. All the more astonishing, since the CIP system was only in operation for 6 months.

The aim of the Merus installation was to clean the production line and the CIP system by installing two Merus rings. And to avoid the further formation of new incrustations and corrosion. To maintain the required quality of the final product and thus increase production capacity.

Scale particles after only 65 days gone

Findings in the production:

– Elimination of the lime deposits inside the production lines
– No deposits found inside the water-steam exchanger
– No traces of  corrosion in the metallic parts of the system found
– The quality of the product and herewith the output of the plant was back to normal

Findings in the quality assurance laboratory:

In the first days after the installation of the Merus rings, it was found that both the TDS and the hardness builders in the water increased strongly.
This was due to the fact that the rings removed the 1 mm layer of crusted salts larger than 1 mm.
This could also be seen during the first rinses, how much lime was washed out.
The previously found particles in the end product became significantly fewer until they finally disappeared completely.
Today both, the production lines and the cleaning system, work according to the specifications provided by the supplier of the process equipment.

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