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Modern regulated dynamic way of vodka production

"SILVER FILTRATION®" is an ideal tool in modern conditions

Technofilter offers to the enterprises of the alcohol industry an innovative technology for producing vodkas without coal columns - the technology of "Silver filtration". The technology is patented by Technofilter. Patent  No. 2 222 586 "Method" silver filtration" of vodka sorting and vodka and filter cartridge".

Main advantages

  • the absence of aldehydes content increase both during the processing of sortings and vodkas, and at long stops, it gives the  possibility to work periodically;
  • high speed processing of sortings and vodkas;
  • long service life of EPSF.UAg0.4 filter cartridges;
  • compactness of the equipment, in comparison with bulky coal columns, allows to use the minimal quantity of the areas;
  • ease and convenience operation of filter cartridges instead of time loss while replacing coal in a classic coal columns;
  • because of coal high hardness the costs of control filtration are minimized, especially compared to the "Poltovchanka" system and starch technologies, when the costs of subsequent multi-stage filtration are enormous.

The main problem of distilleries is the impossibility of periodic work. In addition, the coal columns used are highly demanded in maintenance, require nightwork and experienced personnel. Enterprises that ramp up production volumes, need considerable areas for expansion, and newly constructed ones require large construction costs.

The processing of sorting in the suspended coal layer and the "Poltovchanka" system makes it possible to work periodically, but they require considerable expenditures for subsequent filtration, and, mostly important, do not allow flexible control over the contact time of sorting with the coal.

A known fact that the efficiency of active coal increases by applying a small amount of colloidally dispersed silver to its surface becomes a prerequisite for the “Silver Filtration” production facility for processing sortings and vodkas proposed by Technofilter.

Technofilter specialists realized the task of creating new sorting and vodka processing method that combines the effectiveness of modern active silver impregnated coconut coals with the advantages of filter cartridges and microfiltration equipment that have proven themselves in the filtration of liquids.

As a result of the investigations started at the enterprise in 1998, silver impregnated active coal from special coconut shells was chosen as a silver-containing coal. These coals are characterized by high hardness (> 97%), large surface area (> 1000 m2/g), low ash content with minimal water soluble ash content, excluding high aldehyde-forming capacity, practically no migration of silver to the filtrate (after washing 140 liters of water, residual silver quantity in the filtrate is 5 μg/l while the maximum permissible norm is 100 μg/l). As shown by the studies carried out at VNIIPBT, active coals from the coconut shell are more efficient than BAU-A for a number of technical characteristics. Their mechanical strength is more than 1.5 times higher, the ash content is 3-5 times less with a minimum content of water-soluble ash, the specific surface is twice higher.

The developed and patented original design of EPSF.UAg0.4  filter cartridge has become the basis for the new technology.

The design of the filter cartridge takes into account the ability of active coal to change the volume (swell) during operation and excludes the possibility of "channeling" even at high filtration rates.

During the operation of filter cartridge the water-alcohol mixture passes through a coal "mini-column" filled with silver-containing coal and longitudinal movement of the liquid.

500, 750 and 1000 mm height filter cartridges are produced by heat sealing of 250 mm height filter cartridges.

Unique patented design of EPSP.UAg0.4       
USF.2 (8x750 / 24x1000)-5 filtration plant produced by Technofilter          
Filter cartridges EPSF.UAg0.4 250, 500, 750, 1000 mm height

The unique patented design of EPSF.UAg0.4 filter cartridge and highly efficient coconut silver impregnated coal allow to increase the speed of sorting processing, which means the reducing of coal amount and reducing of sorting amount in contact with coal. This allowed turn to a periodic mode of operation, working in one shift, producing the necessary quantity of products without overloading warehouses, which is especially important for young enterprises entering the market with a new product.

Based on experience and conducted studies, the recommended filtration rate through one "mini-coal column" (ESPF.UAg0.4 filter cartridge 250 mm high) is 3-6 dal/h when processing sortings and 8-12 dal/h for additional filtration of vodkas. Depending on initial quality of water and alcohol, the operating life of one mini-column for the sorting is 3500-5000 dal. The operating life of filter cartridge for vodka is 7000-9000 dal.

During the work on the introduction and improvement of new technology, Technofilter specialists have developed a series of filtration plants “Silver filtration" USF type  with a capacity up to 1000 dal/h on sorting and up to 2000 dal/h on vodka. The plants are compact, mounted on a single frame and consist of an explosion-proof pump unit, main stainless steel filter holder (a coal treatment unit) for various amounts and height of filter cartridges, a pre-filter for protecting coal elements from mechanical impurities, a flow meter, and shut-off valves. USF can be equipped with a control panel with an automatic switch and frequency converter for smooth adjustment.

All "Silver filtration" plants are equipped with sorption filter cartridges ESPF.UAg0.4 with a height from 500 to  1000 mm (certificate of compliance No. ROSS RUJA 56. 099444 dated 20.10.2004, sanitary and epidemiological certificate No. ЗЗ.ВЛ.09.515.П. 991372.08.04. August 24, 2004).

An important advantage of "Silver filtration" technology is the absence of time period for process stabilization, and, consequently, the absence of an unrecoverable waste, the amount of which can reach up to several tons when working on coal columns. "Silver filtration" unit produces high quality vodka from the first minutes of operation and high organoleptic properties of product are confirmed by numerous awards at exhibitions and specialized tastings.

One of the most important indicators of "Silver Filtration" technology effectiveness, along with convenience and good quality of the product, is long operation life of filter cartridges. For example, filtration unit with capacity of  400-500 dal/h has an average service life of filter cartridge set up to 500 thousand dal (24 elements 1000 mm height or 96 "mini-columns"), which determines the low cost of technology usage.

"Silver Filtration" units are easy to maintain and do not cause difficulties in mastering the technology, which increases the reliability in operation.

At the same time, the technologist has a convenient tool that allows receiving products corresponding to various tastes of the customer. Changing the speed can vary the softness of vodka, making either very soft, with a delicate aroma, or more burning. It has become possible to receive vodka with minimal losses from small amounts of sorting with a special formulation, for example, purified with milk. 


"Silver filtration" units with filter cartridges EPSF.UAg0.4 from 2005 are recommended for use instead of coal columns ("Production technological regulations for the production of vodkas and alcoholic beverages". Amendment No. 1 to MF 10-12292-99 of 07.11.2005 8.5.9 and Changing No. 2 to MFR 10-12292-99 from 12.03 8.5.9) on small-scale production plants, in factories with long stops while filtering on coal batteries, as an additional purification of water-alcohol solutions after coal columns and as a control filtration before bottling in order to increase organoleptic properties.

The rectified high purification alcohol, Extra or Lux, is diluted with the treated water to the required strength in a sorting vat or mixer of a different design.

The supply of rectified alcohol and water is maintained at the desired level by means of flow meters or an automatic control system, the density of the mixture being constant at the outlet. The resulting homogenized water-alcohol mixture of the required strength is sent by a centrifugal pump to a stainless steel storage tank or an enameled container.

To improve the organoleptic properties, the water-alcohol mixture is treated with granulated de-gelled silver-containing coconut activated carbon. Coal adsorbs impurities and catalyzes oxidative processes that favorably affect the quality of vodka.

Sorting is carried out under dynamic conditions, filtering it in "coal mini-columns", sorting is transferred under the pressure of the sorting itself or by means of a centrifugal pump.

To purify the water-alcohol mixture on the sorting feed line, filter holders or filtration units of USF (TU 5131-009-10471723-2004) are installed. They consist of a pump unit, filter holder, flow meter and stop valves with "coal  mini-columns" (cartridges) made in the form of standard filter cartridges EPSF.UAg0,4 produced by Technofilter, filled with granulated dezolized silver containing coconut activated carbon impregnated with 0.4% silver. The impregnation method used to produce this coal ensures that there is no migration of silver to filtrate.

Before starting, sorting is transferred into the filter holder with "mini-columns" (cartridges), at the rate of 5-10 dal per one element 250 mm high in order to remove the transportation coal dust. Sorting with a suspension of coal dust is placed in a suitable container (collector) for dust sedimentation for 10-12 hours (rework material). The recommended sorting temperature during processing is 18°C+2°C.

Filter cartridges EPSF.UAg0.4 should receive sorting, free from foreign inclusions (scale, colloids, sand dust, etc.). Otherwise, it is mandatory to install a pre-filter with a particle retention efficiency of 5-10 μm  EPV.P-500  produced by Technofilter.

After leaving the filter holder with "mini-columns" (cartridges), transparent vodka is sent to a collection tank. After full or partial filling of collection tank, depending on the required volume, the sorting feed is manually or automatically switched off and the remainder is drained from the filter holder. "Mini-columns" (cartridges) can remain in the filter holder until the next moment of preparing vodka or may be taken out of the filter holder and dried in the air. In case of stops up to 7 days, you need to drain the remaining vodka from the filter holder, you can leave the filter cartridges inside.

If the stop is more than 7 days, it is necessary to drain the rest of vodka from the filter holder, remove the filter cartridges, allow them to dry at room temperature and seal them tightly to prevent foreign odors.

"Mini-Columns" (cartridges) are not regenerated and must be replaced after service life is over.

Characteristics of "coal mini-columns" (cartridges):

The filter cartridge EFSF.UAg0.4 is a sorption filter cartridge based on silver impregnated activated coal from the shell of coconut. The content of silver impregnated in coal is 0.3-0.5%. Coal is poured between the inner and outer cages.

These coals are characterized by high hardness (> 97%), large surface area (> 1000 m2/g), and the impregnation method used for their preparation ensures that silver does not migrate to the filtrate.

In the standard cartridge (or mini-column) ESPF.UAg0,4 250 mm height with outer diameter of 70 mm and an inner diameter of 26 mm approximately 330 g of activated coal with a density of about 0.5 g/cm3 is placed.

Depending on the required sorting processing speed, the number and height of filter cartridges, as well as the type of the filter holder or the filtration unit of the USF, are selected.

The speed of sorting filtering through one "mini-column" (cartridge) 250 mm high is from 3 to 6 dal/h.

The filtration speed is controlled by a flow meter or a sorting rate indicator and is set taking into account the mandatory positive effect of the tasting evaluation.

The difference in the tasting assessment between vodka and sorting should be not less than 0.2 points, the difference in oxidizability - at least 1.5 minutes on alcohol "Extra" and 0-1.5 minutes - on alcohol "Lux". If there is no improvement in the organoleptic properties, the filtration rate should be reduced, and if the tasting estimate does not increase after coal treatment at decreased filtering rate, the filter cartridges must be replaced.

Control filtration of vodka

ESPF.UAg0.4 “mini-columns” (cartridges) with silver impregnated coconut coal can be used for additional processing of vodkas.

Vodka treated on a coal column, or in another regulated way, is passed through a filtration unit of the  USF (TU 5131-009-10471723-2004) consisting of pump unit, filter holder, flow meter and shut-off valves, through ESPF.UAg0.4 filter cartridges and is sent to vodka collection tank.

At the same time, not only the better transparency of vodkas (with shine) is noted, but also the improvement of organoleptic properties. The filtering speed of vodka through one "mini-column" (cartridge) 250 mm high is  8-12 dal/h. The filtration speed is controlled by a flow meter or flow indicator and is set taking into account the positive effect of the tasting treatment.

The life of the filter cartridge EPSF.UAg0.4 250 mm high in vodka is 7000-9000 dal and depends on the quality of the original vodka.

Today "Silver filtration" technology is increasingly used in distilleries. If recently vodka producers have seen in technology mainly marketing, then the time has also revealed the technological merits, thanks to which "Silver Filtration" technology is now operated in more than 300 enterprises in 40 countries. Nowadays it is the main way of processing water-alcohol mixtures in the production of vodkas of Russian brands. 

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