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Crop Dryer For Hemp Producers
“We heard from hemp producers that they wanted to dry their chopped biomass without using a hang shack, but didn’t want to damage the crop in any way during the process,” says Joe Hynes, chemical engineer at Grain Handler in Lakeville, Minn.
Hynes says the Grain Handler hemp dryer has fans and conveyors on Variable Frequency Drives (VFD’s) that allow them to operate at different temperatures, different airflow rates, and different residence rates. The dryer also has two cyclones attached to the ducting system at the back end of the machine to collect any small particles that would otherwise be blown into the atmosphere by a regular grain dryer.
“These features are ideal because they allow the operator to preserve trichomes, which are some of the smallest and most valuable portions of the plant, containing the highest percentage of oil by weight,” Hynes says. “Our dryer can also be used with any other botanical that needs to be dried for storage or extraction.”
The Grain Handler hemp dryer is about the size of a semi-trailer. Propane or natural gas can be used to power the 1,000,000 BTU burner. Conveyors and fans run on 60hz ,3-phase, 230-volt power.
Wet material is taken into the machine on a ramped conveyor with a heavy-duty, variable-speed chain. A leveler keeps the biomass evenly dispersed before it enters the machine. The body of the unit is one large chamber with 5 internal conveyors. They move material back and forth as material is dried by air dispersed through the conveyor chains from the plenum in the bottom of the machine. Dried material continuously moves out the back end of the unit and is deposited in super sacks for easy handling.
“We’ve tested the dryer during two seasons, and our calculations show that we can remove about 600 lbs. of water per hour from chopped hemp biomass. Drying capacity is about 1,000 lbs. of wet material per hour,” Hynes says. “The machine is fully insulated with 6 insulated doors that have access ports to the internal conveyors for sampling and cleanout. With a trailer-type or stationary model available, we feel the dryer fits many applications for farmers or processors.” The stationary unit is priced at $78,800 and the trailered machine is $96,000.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Grain Handler, 21785 Hamburg Ave., Lakeville, Minn. 55044 (ph 612 722-1085; www.grainhandler.com).

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #3