Rice producer boosts CO2 recovery with innovative solution

Rice producer S.P. in Italy uses CO2 to eliminate insects in their production process in order to guarantee product quality while complying with organic food standards. Using an innovative solution powered by an Atlas Copco booster, up to 80% of the CO2 is recovered and reused.

The history of rice is as old as the world. In Italy, people started growing rice in the Middle Ages as a medical plant. Today, the country is Europe’s largest rice producer with 234,000 hectares of paddy-fields, 4,265 rice farms, 100 large industrial firms and annual sales totaling one billion Euros.

In the traditional rice district of Vercelli, leading rice producer S.P. S.p.A.is a major player in the processing of rice.

“The quality of our products is the basis for our success, which is why we are committed to the highest quality standards. Product safety is a top priority,” says Giovanni Ingino, Technical Manager, S.P. S.p.A.

CO2 recovery enabled by high pressure

Rice producer boosts C02 recovery with innovative solution from Atlas Copco.

In the case of rice, product safety means using oil-free compressors to prevent oil contamination in the finished product. It also means using CO2 to control insect pests in the production process.

“We are among the first producers to use an innovative CO2 pest control system which ensures a high level of safety without using chemical agents. We also recover and reuse CO2 in the production cycle,” says Giovanni Ingino.

CO2 treatment is performed both at the pre and post packaging stages, in combination with high pressure. While carbon dioxide is used to eliminate pests, high pressure plays a key role in destroying the eggs, which are invisible to the naked eye and not killed by CO2. This solution guarantees product safety as well as increased production speed.

Pre-packaged rice is treated in autoclave at a pressure of 25 bars to destroy all the eggs. At the end of the process, instead of being released into the atmosphere, the CO2 is conveyed to another autoclave. This way up to 80% of the CO2 can be recovered, significantly reducing both emissions and purchasing cost.

A 360-degree solution

“Atlas Copco’s wide range of oil-free compressors designed specifically for CO2 applications ensures a reliable, clean and energy-efficient CO2 recovery. Maximum uptime throughout the production cycle is guaranteed by our experienced service teams,” says Elena Marazzi, Product Marketing Manager, Atlas Copco.

“The Atlas Copco CO2 oil-free booster was, for sure, the right choice for us. We are very satisfied with our partnership and have found a 360-degree solution covering both product supply and customer service to help us maximize our equipment investment,” says Giovanni Ingino.