Ventilation and Dehumidification in the meat industry

Ventilation and Dehumidification in the meat industry

Tema Process is specialized in providing airflow, temperature and humidity control systems for a wide variety of meat processing applications. We provide high-capacity dehumidifiers suitable for any ambient temperature and undertake custom made projects covering every aspect of airflow, temperature and humidity control.

vleesindustrie hygiene

Humidity, condensation and water are a serious risk

Both temperature and humidity levels inside a meat processing plant should be kept as constant as possible. It sounds simple, but the following characteristics continuously vary: outside weather conditions, rooms are periodically cleaned using water, personnel are at work and different products are processed. As most meat factories only control temperature, these aspects will all affect (raise) the relative humidity. A higher moisture level (RH) automatically means that the dew point temperature inside the room will rise, as room temperature remains constant at its regulated set point. At this dew point temperature water will condensate and becomes visible on products/parts which have a lower temperature.

So without good climate and humidity control, condensation (or “sweating”) can occur on cold meat products and food processing equipment. This moisture stimulates the growth and spread of microorganisms (such as mold, fungi and germs), even in areas considered clean. Meat products that need to be moved from cooling rooms to processing rooms are even much more susceptible to condensation because of their lower temperature. Dripping, fogging and icing are other potential moisture-related problems that often occur in the meat processing industry.

This means that a high dew point temperature has a big impact on the hygiene level and thus indirectly on the quality of your product. Proper environmental airflow, temperature and humidity control is the key to success. When meat is being processed, the Tema dehumidifier ensures that the room dew point temperature is always lower than the minimum product temperature. This way, moisture can never condense on the cold meat and the microbiological impact is minimized.

ventilation meat industry
ventilation meat industry
ventilation meat industry

TEMA Process B.V. is a specialised design and manufacturing company for Fluid Bed Systems for  drying of minerals, chemicals, food, feed, biomass, etc. The TEMA Fluid Bed can be applied not only for drying, but also for cooling, roasting, torrefaction, puffing, blanching, stripping , spices and herbs sterilisation and pasteurisation and calcining.

TEMA Process B.V. manufactures continuous and batch fluid beds. Batch fluid beds are used when products integrity is required for example in the pharma industry or for small quantities of product. Continuous dryers / coolers can be delivered in static or dynamic (shaking, vibrating) fluid beds. Static fluid bed can be delivered with or without submerged heat exchangers.

Quickly drying the whole factory after wet cleaning

At the end of the working day, when meat processing is ended the production rooms need to be cleaned. The whole factory is thoroughly rinsed and cleaned using hot water and detergents. After cleaning it is very important that the rooms are dried rapidly so that the next day production can start in a clean, cool and dry meat factory. The Tema Process ventilation and dehumidification solution will quickly master the water, humidity and consequently the micro-organisms level in your meat processing plant.

Our dehumidifier is the perfect airflow, temperature and humidity control solution and will bring the following benefits to your meat processing plant:

  • No more undesired condensation on cold products
  • No more undesired water dripping from ceilings
  • Less electrical failures inside factory
  • No more breeding ground and spread of micro-organisms
  • The dehumidification process even kills bacteria
  • Prevents odor nuisance
  • Better (more comfortable and healthier) climate for workers
  • No more draft of air 
  • Fresh air supplied to processing rooms
  • Energy friendly ventilation solution
  • Creates and controls under- or overpressure during day 
  • Factory is quickly dried after cleaning

This application has been successfully implemented in typical meat (Beef, pork and poultry) processing rooms like slicing areas, packaging rooms, sausage production areas, but also deboning and slaughter rooms.


Dehumidifying with a salt solution

The Tema Process air dehumidifiers have been developed for cooling, dehumidification and microbiological decontamination of industrial process air. These reliable systems ensure a constant humidity and constant air temperature throughout the year, regardless of outside air conditions or fluctuations in the indoor climate. Dehumidification as low as 15% relative humidity can be reached at low temperatures (-20 to +40°C). 

The Tema Process dehumidifier is using a Lithium Chloride salt solution as absorbent. Lithium Chloride is a very strong salt and has an equilibrium curve which closely follows the relative humidity curve of air. The process air will enter the countercurrent dehumidifier and will be dehumidified or humidified in order to maintain this equilibrium. In other words the sprayed salt concentration will control the outlet air relative humidity. By cooling the salt solution before spraying we are able to cool down the air temperature. In this way air temperature and air humidity are both controlled in the same system but can be adjusted independently.

As moisture is continuously absorbed by the salt solution inside the dehumidifier, it becomes diluted and slowly loses drying capacity. To evaporate this surplus of moisture the absorbent is pumped to the regenerator unit. Here the process is turned around, so by heating up the salt solution, moisture is released to an outside air stream and exhausted. The salt solution is continuously pumped between the units in order to provide precise conditions to the process.

Lithium Chloride is a chemically stable, non toxic, non-vaporizing salt solution which acts as a biocide to mold, bacteria and micro-organisms. Beyond its physical desiccant nature Lithium Chloride is also an effective antifreeze.



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The main advantages of liquid dehumidification

  • Dehumidification and air cooling in 1 step
  • Energy friendly, 50-60% more friendly compared to traditional system
  • Usage of low cost coolant sources like cooling tower water or river water
  • Implementation of heat pump
  • Microbiological decontamination
  • Performance reliability, systems run 24/7
  • Precise humidity control (± 1% RH)
  • Frost free cooling
  • Design flexibility
  • Dehumidification and humidification possible

Energy savings

In comparison to traditional air conditioning systems (cooling and heating of air) a Tema Process dehumidifier will save 50 to 60% on cooling power consumptions. Beside these cooling power savings the required cooling media temperature will be considerably higher as this is primarily determined by the desired outlet air temperature. This temperature approach is 

± 3 to 4°C under the desired air temperature.

Traditional air conditioning systems require a lower cooling media temperature as these have to cooldown the air until the desired dewpoint temperature. Meaning that the overall electrical usage of a Tema Process solution is considerably more energy efficient than evaporative air drying systems.

See example: 10.000 m3/h air is dehumidified from 12°C / 85% RH 8 g/kg to a supply condition of 12°C / 25% RH / 2 g/kg.

Bacteria and odor free recirculated air

An extensive research project revealed that the Tema Process dehumidifier kills almost all airborne bacteria and microorganisms. The high Lithium Chloride concentration absorbs moisture from the air, but also effectively removes water from microorganisms present in this airstream. In this way almost all bacteria, fungi, mold, etc. are killed. Unlike UV light, which need to be replaced or cleaned, the bacterial-killing effect of Lithium Chloride is indefinite. This is a great additional advantage in processes and/or rooms where air decontamination is a requirement.

In addition to its excellent function as “bacteria killer”, the system also cleans the air of odors, gases and other pollutants that solve in water. This makes recirculation of energy interesting airstreams possible. Any impurities in these airstreams, are filtered and washed out of the air by the salt solution. The Tema system can also humidify the air by simply adding demineralized water or condensed water. This means that the system can dehumidify in summer and hygienically humidify the air during the dry winter months with the same equipment.

Air handling units

All required additional components like air dampers, filters, fans, cooling and heating coils are built in an hygienic, easy accessible, fully cold-bridge free and sound absorbing air handling units. The inside and outside plating material can be manufactured from aluminum, galvanized steel or stainless steel depending on customer wishes. 

  • The PU isolation in between makes these units completely cold-bridge free. This way condensation will be completely prevented.
  • The units can be easily accessed for maintenance purposes through double doors. By decoupling the internal and external door the fan sound is better absorbed and furthermore the isolation value is increased.
Air handling units
Air handling units
Air handling units

Sensors, control panel and visualization

The Tema Process control panel will steer, manage, calculate, control, monitor and protect the complete solution. These can be mechanical, hydraulic, electrical and/or pneumatic sensors, dampers and valves. They are all connected to the PLC control system, which can be easily integrated into the complete industrial automation system of your factory.

We have the experience with

  • Programming of different PLC brands (mostly Siemens or Rockwell, Allen Bradley)
  • Visualization of production processes by means of HMI and/or SCADA
  • Remote control and can be linked to building management systems
control panel

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