Analysis of the building system of four mills and their suitability for heat treatment pest disinfestation


The last century researchers at Kansas State University demonstrated the validity of the heat treatment as a method of pest control in more than 20 mills. However factors such as the high capital investment required to heat large buildings, inadequate control of high temperatures and the risk of damage to parts of the plants or the construction materials have prevented the large-scale adoption of this technique as a viable alternative to fumigants. Today the combination of the industrialization of the food industry, the technological and structural modernization of plants and developments in heat disinfection technologies have resulted in interesting results being obtained for the use of this system in primary and secondary production processing plants, both experimentally and in practice. However, the scientific literature highlights some of the factors that limit the efficiency of the treatment. This is related to aspects of the buildings and the plants and the environment of the buildings. The structure of the buildings appear to have an enormous impact on energy consumption, because this depends on the amount of heating time and the methods that have to be used when establishing a heat treatment regime. These factors are important if the fumigation temperatures are to be reached in the shortest possible time and can affect the choice of the technique used with current fumigants, especially when this is combined with the amount and cost of the energy consumed. The aim of this work is to analyse four Sicilians mills that intend to use the heat system for fumigation and pest control in order to identify those aspects of the buildings, plant and their environment which are “critical elements” and may discourage the use of this technology. Particular attention was paid to the type of construction materials and their thermal conductivity (roof, floors and walls), the number and volume of the buildings and the distance between them, the entrances and the links between different parts of the plant and the type of equipment used and its spatial organisation inside the buildings.



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buildings, heat, pest control, plant
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How to Cite
Strano, L., & Tomaselli, G. (2013). Analysis of the building system of four mills and their suitability for heat treatment pest disinfestation. Journal of Agricultural Engineering, 44(s2).