Cost-effective cassava processing: case study of small-scale flash-fryer reengineering

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The development and scaling out of fash-dryer innovations for more effcient, small-scale production of high-quality cassava four (HQCF) and starch is described. The diagnoses of cassava-processing SMEs (small and medium enterprises) revealed their energy expenditures for drying were considerably higher than those of large-scale industrial companies, which was mostly due to suboptimal design of fash-drying systems.

As a result, small-scale production of cassava starch and HQCF often incurs high production costs, incompatible with market prices of fnal products. Taking stock of this situation, RTB scientists have developed several innovations to optimize energy effciency and costs, including a longer drying pipe, reengineered heat exchanger, larger blower for higher air velocity, and a higher product/air ratio. This was based on numerical modelling to determine the key design features of energy-effcient fash dryers, followed by construction and demonstration of a pilot-scale prototype.

As a result, improved small-scale fash dryers are now being scaled out to the private sector in various countries, using the Scaling Readiness framework and achieving 10–15% gains in productivity and incomes. A method for diagnosis of process effciency is also described, to identify technical bottlenecks and to document and measure the outcomes and impacts during the implementation of scaling-out projects.

Tran, Thierry; Abass, Adebayo; Taborda Andrade, Luis Alejandro; Chapuis, Arnaud; Precoppe, Marcelo; Adinsi, Laurent; Bouniol, Alexandre; Ojide, Makuachukwu; Adegbite, Suraju Adeyemi; Lukombo, Simon Singi; Sartas, Murat; Teeken, Béla; Kuate, Apollin Fotso; Ndjouenkeu, Robert; Moreno, Martín; Belalcázar, John; Becerra López-Lavalle, Luis Augusto; Dufou, Dominique.

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