Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

Waste steam recovery system for retorts

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Waste steam recovery system for retorts
System captures and reuses waste steam from retort purging process to increase energy efficiency and save water.
In Use – Commercially available

Resource efficiency (e.g. filling line efficiency), Water Usage

Product Categories
Drinks, Food

Relevant Materials
Not Applicable

Relevant Packaging Formats
Not Applicable

Supply Chain Phase
Filling, Processing, Production


An American manufacturer has developed an innovative waste steam recovery system for retorts that is designed to save energy and reduce consumption of water. This new system is suitable for both new installations and as a retrofit solution.

Some operations require retorts to be purged of residual atmosphere before the shelf-stable process begins. In the “come-up vent-open” process, steam is flushed through the retort and vented out of the facility for a specified period of time. The new waste-heat recovery system captures the “come-up vent-open” waste heat steam in a vented tank where the steam condensates into hot water of about 200˚ F. This clean hot water can be used to supplement hot water in lavatories and cleaning stations or it can be run through heat exchangers for heating food or other processes at the plant. One of the first companies to use the new system utilizes the steam for use with a heat exchanger. Heat exchanged water is returned to the collection tank in a closed loop heat recovery system.

The vented collection tank is engineered to have virtually the same pressure characteristics as an open vent pipe. The heat recovery system is PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) controlled and equipped with pressure sensors, ensuring that operations personnel will be alerted should deviations in specified pressure occur. Tanks are sized to the needs of the operation. The system is easily turned on or off, depending on production schedules. The manufacturers claim return on investment should average three years for a mid-sized retort room. As energy prices rise, return on investment speeds up.
The new system was developed by Allpax Products, LLC of the USA.
The content in this entry has been obtained from publicly available information sources only (e.g. press releases, website and trade press articles) and is subject to completion of a validation process with the technology supplier.

Potential Benefits

Capturing the waste steam from the retort purging process reduces energy and water consumption and therefore reduces both the carbon and water footprints of the operation. Subsequently, cost savings will also be realised.

Intellectual Property

The new system has been developed and marketed by Allpax Products, LLC of USA.

Consultant View

Readers interested in other energy efficiency innovations for processing and packing lines should search the REID database using search terms and filter combinations such as "resource efficiency", "energy efficiency", and "water usage"

Contacts and Further Information

Allpax Products, LLC
13510 Seymour Meyers Blvd.
Covington, LA 70433
Tel: 001 985-893-9277

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