Jonas Oskarsson


Jonas Oskarsson

Works as

Project Engineer at Lyckeby

Employed since

1994, with a 10-year break in the early 2000s


Project manager for investment projects

The best thing about working at Lyckeby

We have a flat organization, which means decision paths are short. And all of our committed colleagues!
Hi Jonas! One of the latest projects you worked on was the addition of a drum dryer facility for Lyckeby’s factory in Nöbbelöv, is that right?
Yes, that’s right! This was a large, very broad project that I focused on for more than two years, involving construction of a new building, together with the development and installation of new process equipment. It was incredibly stimulating, both enjoyable and exciting, but also quite a challenge.
What’s the drum dryer facility used for, and why did Lyckeby choose to invest in a new one?
In the drum dryer facility, we manufacture instant starches. In other words, starches that don’t need to be heated to swell. They are used for things like making the filling in a pastry or pie thicker so it doesn’t run out before baking. So the starch can swell without having to be heated, it is boiled on a drum in our drum dryer facility before being dried and ground into powder. Demand for cold-swelling starches has increased significantly in recent years, and they command a high price on the market. Our capacity was simply too low, so the management decided to invest in a new, larger and more modern drum dryer facility.
In what way is the new facility more modern than the old one?
During the design stage, we visited several industry colleagues in Germany, France, and the UK. By studying their dryer facilities, we learned what works and what doesn’t, both for them and for us. And then the management gave us the opportunity to build a future-proof plant by approving a major investment. For example, a modern drum dryer facility needs to be spacious with good air flows so it’s easy to work with, easy to clean and offers a good working environment for the operators.
When you say a major investment...?
A total of SEK 125 million. Of this, SEK 3 million was aid from the Swedish Energy Agency.
In what ways have you worked with energy recovery?
Actually, energy recovery isn’t a new thing for us. We’ve applied it in our factories since the 1980s. The heat expelled by our starch dryers is used to heat the air coming into the dryer. But in the new drum dryer facility, we’ve developed a more cohesive system. We have kilometers of pipes linked to an accumulator tank containing 100 m3 of water. This accumulates the heat from various energy producers in our systems, which is then used in different places in the process. We have also developed a hot water network where flash heat from condensation of steam in the drum dryers is recycled. This is energy that would otherwise go straight up through the chimney and onto the roof among the crows. Now we let out very little energy for the crows, so they’ll have to go and warm themselves elsewhere! But what’s truly unique is that we also recover low temperature heat from the drum dryers. The extract air is only about 40°C, but we use this energy to heat all the incoming air to the drum dryers, the new dryer facility plus the starch slurry that needs to be preheated before chemical modification. During my time in the industry, I’ve visited many drum dryer facilities all over the world, but I’ve never seen any other system recover low-value energy from the drum dryers. It’s completely unique!
The new drum dryer facility has been in operation since January 2022. Can you already see the energy savings?
Yes, the quantity of recovered energy is logged daily and so far we have recovered approximately 1600 MWh that would previously have been lost. If we look at the low temperature energy from the dryer, we recover approximately 300 MWh per month in winter, and around half that in the summer months. Overall, the recovery system works very well! But it’s too early to make comparisons with the old dryer facility. Obviously the energy consumed depends on the products and volumes being processed, so we need more data to calculate a total energy saving.