Industrial Accelerators Section

10 MeV, 10 kW Linac installed at RRCAT

Experimental material handling system

Agricultural Radiation Processing Facility

Foods and agricultural products are treated with ionizing radiation to accomplish different objectives like reduction of pathogenic bacteria and parasites that cause food borne diseases; or lengthening the shelf-life of fresh fruits, vegetables by decreasing the normal biological changes associated with growth and maturation processes, such as ripening or sprouting. Radiation processing of food has become important due to mounting concern over food born diseases, and growing international trade in food products that must meet stiff import standards of quality and quarantine. 

A 10 MeV, 10 kW Linear accelerator based electron beam radiation processing facility is being set up at RRCAT. The Linac has been developed by RF Section. For more details, refer to webpage of RF Section.  ARPF is planned to be a demonstration facility where apart from regular radiation processing of agricultural and medical products, various issues like proper irradiation techniques, packing, handling and storage on large scale and economics of radiation processing will be studied and optimized. The facility will be operated in electron (10 MeV) as well as photon mode (5 & 7.5 MV).

The electron beam will be scanned in a vacuum chamber to obtain 1.2 m wide radiation field. The product handling system is designed to process the products in different packing size with thickness varying from 8 cm to 45 cm and to deliver dose from 60 Gy to 25 kGy.  Typical mass throughputs are 22 tons per hour for potatoes (5 MV Photon mode) and1.8 tons per hour for spices (10 MeV electron mode). The conveyor has speed range of 0.15 m/min to 15 m/min. The facility has various safety interlocks  to ensure safe operation. A computer based control system is designed for the facility to ensure proper processing of the product.

An experimental product handling system has been made to conduct various experimental trials on different products for establishing parameters.

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