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New Grain Dryer Uses Salt, Sand
It may still be five years down the road, but you could then be drying your grain by a new process that takes one-tenth as long and uses only 80% as much energy.
The revolutionary process uses salt or sand to bring heat to the grain and carry away its moisture.
This drying concept has been under study for 10 years in Canada, and it's still being refined at the Agriculture Canada Research Station, Swift Current, Sask. A dryer prototype for use on farms or in elevators is now ready for commercial production.
"The dryer will thoroughly mix the grain with heated sand or salt, then separate out the grain from the heated material," Sylvio Tessier, research engineer who has been developing the equipment, told FARM SHOW.
Salt is the usual drying agent for grain slated to be used for feed, and sand for grain that will be used for seed and other purposes. Tessier says there have been no problems in completely removing dust with conventional grain cleaning equipment. "In a taste test, a panel of tasters found paddy rice which had been dried with salt to taste no different than air-dried rice," he notes.
A farm-size prototype dryer is 13 ft.long and has a capacity of 1,500 lbs. of grain per hour. A commercial-size prototype on test at MacDonald College in Quebec will dry 5 tons per hour.
Ideal drying mixture is about 1 lb. of sand or salt for each 3 lbs. of grain. Sand and salt are recycled through the dryer and, because of their heat holding capacity, there is not much new energy input required in each new cycle, explains Tessier.
He notes that, with salt or sand, the energy requirement is 20% less than air, and the drying is done 5 to 10 times as fast. For example, a bushel of corn at 18% moisture requires 8,200btu of heated air to dry it down to 13%. But, with hot sand, only 6,500 btu are required.
Detailed design of the dryer is not available for publicity while patent proceedings are going on, but a patent is expected soon. In the meantime, Tessier is looking for prospective U.S. and Canadian manufacturers to make the dryer.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Sylvio Tessier, Agriculture Canada Research Station, P.O. Box 1030, Swift Current. Sask. S9H 3X2.

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1983 - Volume #7, Issue #4