Scaling-up of film Freeze Concentration as innovative energy efficient and mild technology


On January 30 a novel custom-designed and built pilot-scale apparatus for film freeze concentration was unveiled at Wageningen University. Film freeze concentration is proposed as an innovative mild technology that can be applied to concentrate aqueous food streams (for example, sugar, salt or protein containing streams). During this process ice is selectively frozen from the solution. After growing an ice layer, the concentrated solution is removed and the ice is melted. It is a batch process.

Professor Remko Boom (WUR AgroFood/Food Process Engineering) kick-off the commissioning of the bench scale Freeze Concentration unit

TNO calculated that this technology may potentially save 55-90% energy compared to existing concentration technologies such as evaporation and regular freeze concentration. While many previous studies only investigated film freeze concentration on lab-scale, this set-up is unique as it is the first pilot-scale film freeze concentration device that will be used to investigate scale-up of this technology.

Prof. Remko Boom, and Associate Professor Maarten Schutyser (WUR AgroFood/FPE), supervisor and promotor of the FreezeCon research and project leader, amidst the curious students and project partners.

The pilot-scale film freeze concentrator has been developed and constructed in the framework of an ISPT project with industrial partners. The equipment has been developed and designed together with research partners and end-users (TNO, Cosun, Nouryon, WUR and ISPT) and constructed by IBK. It can be used in various modes to investigate the film freeze concentration technology in much more detail. Jan-Eise Vuist, the PhD student of the FreezeCon project @WUR Food Process Engineering, will use the device to investigate the technology for its energy efficiency and whether the technology can effectively remove pure water from a solution to concentrate with too much inclusion of solutes into the ice. 

 PhD Jan-Eise Vuist, combines experimental and modelling approach to find the key to upscale film freeze concentration

Read more about the Freezecon project here.


This project is co-funded with subsidy from the Topsector Energy by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.