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British Chlorophyll Company

In 2013, SPT won the contract to build a completely new and bespoke chlorophyll extraction plant for Blankney Estates in Lincoln. Their original system was nearing the end of its useful life and SPT were commissioned to develop a new system which would allow British Chlorophyll to expand their production capacity.

Chlorophyll is the green pigment present in plants which gives them the ability to absorb light and produce energy through photosynthesis. Plants such as grass, lucerne, spinach and nettles can be grown on a large scale and harvested for the extraction of chlorophyll for use as an added food colour.

As one of the world’s largest producers, The British Chlorophyll Company produces and  concentrates chlorophyll from Lincolnshire grown dried grass and lucerne by solvent extraction or by squeezing fresh material.

Whilst utilising their original solvent washing method as the basis for design, SPT developed a completely new process for handling the grass pellets. The remit was to extract more chlorophyll than they were capable of at the time of design and to produce a dried waste pellet that could be sent on as animal feed.

With a throughput of 24 tonnes of grass pellets per day this was SPT’s most complex build to date and required a great deal of development time with centrifuge optimisation and solids handling equipment. SPT also had to design and build a completely bespoke drying system in order to ensure the pellets were free from solvent but not crushed at the end of the process.

The complete turnkey service for the design, manufacture, installation and commissioning of this automated extraction plant was completed in the early part of 2016 with final handover to BCC in April 2016.