Usina da Barra improves the process with Alfa Laval equipment

Usina da Barra is a large industrial complex situated in Barra Bonita in Brazil. The complex includes a sugar mill, a sugar refinery and a distillery with an impressive crushing capacity of 38,000 tonnes of cane per day – is one of the largest, making it also one of the largest in the world.

DATE 2023-11-28

Improving the process

Usina da Barra has also taken full advantage of plate technology when it comes to heating and cooling. In the old days, the twenty-four batch fermenters were equipped with cooling coils, and this resulted in mixed performance. There were corrosion problems as well as difficulties in controlling the fermenter temperatures. These problems were solved by replacing the coils with Alfa Laval plate heat exchangers.

“The first plate heat exchangers for fermenter cooling were installed around 1978, replacing cooling coils for fermentation. They have been operating perfectly ever since that time. The coils had corrosion problems and needed to be replaced frequently. The plate heat exchangers turned out to have a much longer lifetime than the coils, which means that we have saved money and improved production. Other benefits include less contamination in the fermenters, as a more precise and consistent temperature is maintained,” comments Polonio


Alfa Laval WideGap plate heat exchangers

WideGap functions well with fibrous media, such as raw juice and limed juice. A gap of up to 17 mm between the plates allows fibres and particles to flow easily, minimizing clogging. The WideGap is suitable for various heating media, such as liquids, steam and low pressure vapour.

  WideGap plate heat exchangers


  • Plate pattern designed for high turbulence and efficiency
  • Easy to clean with Cleaning-in-Place equipment or mechanically
  • Easy to expand capacity

Customer's voice

“We have been doing business with Alfa Laval ever since this distillery was built almost sixty years ago, so for us, Alfa Laval is not just any supplier."

Walter Luiz Polonio,
Engineering department supervisor