Advantages of the HPP Process

Compared to existing conventional processes, the Hedinn Protein Plant (HPP) uses far less energy, in addition to being environmentally sound in other respects. As the process is much simpler, the traceability of its characteristics is much easier.

Development of the conventional fish meal production process

When comparing the new HPP process to conventional fish meal production, it is important to keep in mind how the conventional process has developed over the years. Traditionally, the fish meal process is based on separating as much fish oil from the raw material as possible, followed by evaporation of the remaining water to ~6-8% moisture content.

The traditional method has been to use a twin-screw press to extract as much water as possible from the dry matters, followed by processing of the extracted water in the liquid side of the factory.

The original objective was to separate the oil from the water, but in the course of time operators began to explore ways of salvaging the remaining solids from the residual liquid. The most practical, and therefore most common, method of extracting the remaining solids was to run the liquid through an evaporator in one or more evaporating steps. Concentrated liquid would then be pumped into the meal dryer.

A complex process reinvented

It is common knowledge in the fishmeal industry that the liquid side is the most complex part of the fishmeal production cycle.

This is where the HPP differs from conventional plants. The HPP has no liquid side, opting instead for two-stage drying. This simplifies the overall process, brings down cost and delivers consistent high-grade products.

To show the advantage of the HPP over the conventional process we have assembled the table below, which shows fully comparable measurements from both processes. Most of those figures show how the HPP directly and significantly reduces operating cost, energy use, manpower requirements, floor space and use of cooling water. The HPP two-stage drying cuts down the number of main components, process tanks and control parameters.

All the other benefits

It is more difficult to quantify other benefits of the HPP, such as total investment cost, product quality or environmental impact. When looking at the investment cost, additional factors should be considered: the type and size of plant facilities, additional systems (ventilation, boiler and recourses) and installation. The quality of the fishmeal and fish oil depends on freshness and type of raw material; however, the type and quality of the processing plant is no less important to deliver high grade products. Smooth and gentle mechanical handling during transport, pumping and heating of the raw-material are essential to ensure uniform product quality. These are some of the key attributes of the HPP process. To give just one example of the gentle handling during the process, heating surfaces are kept under 110°C (230°F) to avoid scorching the raw material.

In recent years one of the most challenging topics in the fishmeal and fish oil industry has been renewability and environmental impact, use of natural resources and release of gases and waste water. In this regard, the HPP process stands out. Less energy is used, and since the process is relatively simple, equipment is efficiently covered and suction applied where needed, with the result that there is little or no odour in the plant facility. The steam generated in the first drying stage is condensed in the process and pumped away as liquid. Only the moisture that evaporates in the second drying step needs to be condensed. Most of the drying air is recycled and re-used in the process to keep emissions to a minimum.

Comparing the numbers

Energy Use

Average production capacity 100 tons/24 hours

kWh/ton * kg/ton ** kWh/ton ***
Hedinn Protein Plant 200 20 40
Best factory 1950 500 50 35
Best factory 2015 300 30 45
Average factory 400 40 40

*     Heating energy by steam kWh pr. ton of raw material.
**   Heating energy kg oil pr. ton of raw material.
*** Electrical energy pr. ton of raw material.

Floor Area

Average production capacity 100 tons/24 hours

m2 * m2 **
Hedinn Protein Plant 175 900
Best factory 1950 300 1500
Best factory 2015 300 1800
Average factory 300 1800

*   Floor area (square metres) exclusive of facilities for employees, boiler room and meal storage.
** Factory hall exclusive of facilities for employees, boiler room and meal storage.


Average production capacity 100 tons/24 hours

Hedinn Protein Plant 3-5    *
Best factory 1950 8-15  *
Best factory 2015 5-8    *
Average factory

*  Number of employees. Varies depending on size and conditions.


Average production capacity 100 tons/24 hours

 pc. * pc. ** pc. ***
Hedinn Protein Plant 4 0 3
Best factory 1950 8 6 10
Best factory 2015 12 8 15
Average factory 10 6 12

*     Number of main components.
**   Number of process tanks.
*** Number of control loops.

Water Use

Average production capacity 100 tons/24 hours

m3/h * l/ton **
HPP 3 5
Best factory 1950 10
Best factory 2015 40 10
Average factory 30 10

*   Volume of water (cubic metres per hour) for scrubbers and condensers.
** Volume of fresh water litres per ton of raw material.